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Seattle Bank Thrives Despite Volatile Banking Sector, Announcing 2 New Partnerships

The 2023 Nimble Bank Playbook report by NovoPayment uncovered what’s slowing digitisation in smaller banks and credit unions. It also signalled a rise in leaders embracing banking-as-a-service (BaaS) partnerships to level the playing field against larger financial institutions. In line with this Seattle Bank, a digitally-driven local bank, has announced two new partnerships with LoanStar Technologies and JUDI.AI.

With JUDI.AI’s business lending platform, powered by AI and open banking technology, Seattle Bank will offer small business borrowers a simplified loan application. This is in addition to an approval process that takes minutes instead of a week or more.

Meanwhile, the partnership with LoanStar Technologies will allow consumers to quickly and easily access loans from Seattle Bank. Specifically for high-value transactions, directly through the merchant.

Quick access to loans

Discussing the LoanStar Technologies partnership, Josh Williams, EVP, chief banking officer and head of partnerships at Seattle Bank, said: “At Seattle Bank, we evaluate every potential banking partnership by determining if the concept solves a problem for the customer, then aligning with a brand’s business imperatives.

“In this instance, partnering with LoanStar allows its customers to accelerate the speed and convenience of point-of-sale financing while simultaneously allowing Seattle Bank to expand its reach to customers nationally. A win-win.”

The collaboration is made possible through Seattle Bank’s scalable, configurable, open-API technology stack. This includes enabling real-time underwriting and loan fulfillment. All this is made possible by integrating new functionality with Finastra, a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces. Finastra’s open developer platform allows Seattle Bank to integrate with its fintech partners, including LoanStar.

LoanStar’s technology connects lenders to borrowers through their merchant network. This spans several industries. Seattle Bank’s initial partnership serves a merchant in the home improvement sector.

“We saw a huge opportunity to team up with Seattle Bank to help expand its reach through point-of-sale finance,” said Andrew Turner, CEO of LoanStar. “We’re confident our strong relationships with contractors and merchants will help them find highly efficient ways to reach customers wanting immediate financing options when making purchases.”

“Finastra is proud to be an orchestrator of embedded finance, providing the tools needed to help banks meet customers on their journey at the right time,” said Radha Suvarna, chief product officer and head of embedded finance at Finastra. “We’re thrilled that Seattle Bank has chosen Finastra and our partners at LoanStar to facilitate embedded consumer lending at the point of sale. The first live transactions have already been successfully processed.”

Bringing banking directly to the customer

Partnering with LoanStar illustrates Seattle Bank’s partner banking capabilities. It enables fintechs, marketplaces and brands to provide financial solutions within their brand experience. Furthermore, it brings banking directly to customers through seamless, integrated transactions.

Whether offering a borrowing solution into a retail brand’s digital channel or providing banking-as-a-service to a fintech, Seattle Bank orchestrates the blend of business, technology, and compliance, creating successful and sustainable banking partnerships.

A simplified and quick loan application

The partnerships did not stop there though. Looking to offer small business borrowers a simplified and quick loan application and approval process, Seattle Bank partnered with JUDI.AI.

“Loan applications can be a daunting process, but integrating JUDI’s AI-enabled platform will create invaluable efficiencies for our small business borrowers,” said Josh Williams, EVP, Chief Banking Officer and Head of Partnerships at Seattle Bank. “This mutually beneficial partnership unlocks the ability for Seattle Bank to lend to small businesses quickly and seamlessly. It also gives us the opportunity to extend JUDI.AI technology and access to brands and marketplaces that lend to small businesses nationally.”

Based in Vancouver, B.C, JUDI.AI is focused on helping community-based lenders reduce the friction that normally comes with small business lending. The platform streamlines a loan application, decisioning, and documentation process to less than 10 minutes. This process has typically taken seven days or more.

JUDI.AI’s cash flow-based approach to underwriting equips lenders with a real-time view into the financial health of small businesses. It offers Seattle Bank a faster and more effective way to evaluate the creditworthiness of small business borrowers.

Creating a better banking experience

“We knew we wanted to partner with Seattle Bank from our first conversation. We heard how our organisations are aligned on innovating to serve customers digitally,” said Gord Baizley, CEO of JUDI.AI. “Seattle Bank’s forward-thinking approach to tech integration is a great match for JUDI.AI. We use a blend of technology and credit science to reinvent what is often a highly manual and time-consuming process lending to small businesses.”

Collaborating with JUDI.AI illustrates the benefits of Seattle Bank’s open API, cloud-based core technology platform. It allows it to easily integrate new and robust digital solutions to deliver a better banking experience. This highly configurable and scalable tech stack also supports Seattle Bank’s partner banking services. Namely, those that enable fintechs, marketplaces and brands to embed banking transactions into their customer online experience.



  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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