While traditional banks continue to collaborate with FinTechs and facilitate data integrations to strengthen their product offerings for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), more FinTechs are taking the lead with open banking to strengthen their own value propositions.
This week’s open banking roundup includes Equifax, Plaid and others wielding the regulatory framework, with an eye on SMB lending in particular.
Equifax Secures Open Banking Acquisition
Equifax earlier this month announced the takeover of AccountScore Holdings, an acquisition designed to strengthen its open banking position. AccountScore operates a transaction data analytics platform that Equifax said will strengthen its existing credit bureau data by adding bank transaction data to the pool. In its announcement, Equifax pointed to a range of use cases for such data, including digital income verification, more inclusive credit scoring, and other ways to demonstrate an individual’s creditworthiness. In a statement, Equifax President of Europe Patricio Remon said the takeover of its “long-term partner in open banking” will help expand its data analytics capabilities.
Plaid Links Atom Bank To Open Banking Services
Atom Bank is now working with Plaid in an open banking partnership that will allow the digital bank to connect SMBs to an integrated, streamlined loan application process. Plaid will wield its data network and open banking technology to unlock key data from SMBs that can accelerate the application and decisioning process for lenders. Atom also plans to deploy Plaid’s payment initiation infrastructure, also a part of the open banking framework, to streamline fee payments.
Open Banking Reporting Links With SMB Lenders
Open Banking Reporting (OBR) is collaborating with SMB lenders to wield open banking for enhanced underwriting and assessment. In an announcement, OBR announced the launch of OpenRep, the result of a partnership with data science company Profusion, that will use open banking data to enable financial institutions (FIs) to assess SMB loan applications in real time, while broadening the data set assessed to determine creditworthiness. OBR said the solution aims to empower lenders to mitigate risk while connecting SMBs to financing that have been hit hard by the pandemic and, as a result, may not qualify via traditional underwriting methods.
CSI, Bank of the West Collaborate On Accounts Payable
Corporate Spending Innovations (CSI) has announced a partnership with BNP Paribas subsidiary Bank of the West to launch an electronic accounts payable (AP) and virtual card solution to streamline B2B payments. Dubbed V-PAYO, the ePayables tool facilitates virtual card, ACH and check payments to suppliers via a single payment file integrated into a portal accessible by both buyers and suppliers. In a statement, Head of Commercial Card and Managing Director Dominique Fracchia said the AP solution will “help our customers save money, increase controls, provide greater fraud protection, and allow for extended float and rebates” through the virtual card feature.
Deutsche Bank Taps 2C2P For B2B Payments Platform
Targeting its Thai business customers, Deutsche Bank is rolling out a new B2B payments platform, the result of a collaboration with local payment platform provider 2C2P. Together, the companies will introduce a platform that allows corporates to facilitate payment collections across channels, including online and mobile banking platforms, mobile payment operators and ATMs. 2C2P will integrate its installment, recurring and multicurrency payment capabilities within the bank’s new platform, the FI said, with funds able to automatically be credited into a company’s Deutsche Bank account.
Community Bank Chooses Autobooks For SMBs
Community Bank System subsidiary Community Bank N.A., which operates across New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts, is connecting its SMB clients to automated payment and accounting technology via FinTech Autobooks, the companies revealed earlier this month. The integration will enable the community bank to allow SMBs to send electronic invoices and accept payments, with Jack Henry’s Banno Digital Platform enabling the technology. The solution is designed to provide SMBs with a holistic accounts receivable (AR) solution integrated within their digital banking offering to facilitate online payment acceptance and billing.
Mauritius Commercial Bank Bolsters Trade Finance With FinTech
Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), based on the island nation of Mauritius, has announced a collaborative agreement with predictive intelligence and artificial intelligence (AI) FinTech Windward to strengthen the FI’s trade finance operations. In a press release, MCB said it will integrate the FinTech’s technology to enhance its own due diligence and monitoring operations within its maritime trade finance and compliance processes, specifically when it comes to Know Your Vessel requirements. “As maritime trade becomes increasingly complex to navigate, our partnership with Windward enables us to more effectively meet regulatory expectations and enhances our efforts to improve business operations, reduce risk and improve compliance across our commodity finance business,” Head of Specialized Finance Zaahir Sulliman said in a statement.