Collaboration is now a key feature of modern business success and this month The Fintech Times focuses on strategic partnerships. Larger corporations are seeing the benefits of investing in startups and those startups have reaped the rewards of joining forces with each other to tackle growth issues.
The 2018 Deloitte report Closing the gap in fintech collaboration, talked about a renewed emphasis on us and them away from us versus them, both with banks and startups and among startups.
In recent years we’ve seen a number of surprising and fruitful fintech partnerships. The reason is likely more than just a #bekind outlook (if at all). While innovation and agility can be found in newness, the best way to scale is to collaborate. Modern startups know that two heads are better than one.
Consumers play a key role in this. Changing consumer expectations drive technological developments and keeping the consumer happy is at the heart of fintech collaboration. The disruption opportunities presented by Covid-19 and sector support in the shape of the Bank of England and the Treasury have resulted in an increased emphasis on the idea of working together.
Barclays Business Banking recently announced its partnership with specialist asset finance provider Propel to offer equipment and vehicle finance via an online platform of its SME customers and allowing businesses to be able to make equipment purchases up to £2m, with funds released quickly. Open finance data, intelligence and payment API provider Moneyhub recently joined forces with Swiftaid creator Streeva to help reduce the half a billion pounds missed each year in unclaimed Gift Aid by fully automating the current process.
“The need to digitise operational and non-financial risks is now more important than ever for the financial services sector, with the Covid-19 crisis shedding fresh light on the need for data to manage existing and emerging risks,” says Paul Ford, CEO and founder of data standards firm Acin, “We are seeing a collective desire from the industry for a solution built on collaboration and sharing of information.”
Acin’s cloud-based Terminal provides financial institutions with solutions to assess and manage their operational and non-financial risks. It was created for, and in collaboration with, the world’s largest financial institutions, changing the way they manage their operational and non-financial risk and controls through a standardised, industry-wide inventory and a network that facilitates collaboration between membersrcurrently 14 tier-one banks. The Terminal maps risks and controls to enable individual firms to identify gaps and overlaps as well as provides actionable data so that they can understand and improve their NFR processes and evidence them externally. It also helps provide insights and best practise, meaning the banking ecosystem can become safer and more efficient.
Not only has this shift in collaboration prompted more innovation in the sector but more specifically, “it has forced the larger, traditional players to embrace new technologies,” says Moneyhub COO Dan Scholey, “By partnering, our clients become more agile and get to market more quickly and efficiently while giving them more time to do what they do best. This can only be a benefit to the end-customer. The better experience the customer has, the more engaged they will be with their money and the more informed they will be when making financial decisions.”
“Fintech partnerships benefit consumers exponentially,” Scholey continues, “For example, as an open banking platform with a unique spending analysis capability we were able to partner with a benefits provider and now identify more than £70 per person in average monthly savings for our collective customers. Both components have standalone value but together they make a much bigger difference to people’s lives.”
TradeCore was launched in 2012 to help startups get to market quicker by handling tricky back-office issues and regulatory hurdles. But founder Stefan Pajkovic recognised that fintech startups can fail fast due to the complexity of the sector. It can take at least two years to find, select and contract with a whole ecosystem of partners before they’re ready to supply a service, during which time they run out of money. So Tradecore partnered with leading fintech providers (including Modulr, TrueLayer and ComplyAdvantage), to create a one-stop-shop.
“If you look at it from a consumer point of view, customers want one thing – simplicity,” says Pajkovic, “They don’t want to have multiple accounts and apps, all servicing different products and offerings. They want it all in place, which is why fintechs choose to collaborate. By bringing together these exciting new fintechs, customers have access to better products and service than ever before. This is the true benefit of greater collaboration.”