Sitting in a banker’s seat for a short time, I’ve been giving much thought to how we should view our relationships with fintechs as we position ourselves to be a much more viable financial institution ten years from now. Having admitted my thinking was biased from twenty years serving the industry in various capacities, I went out with our Innovation team on a listening tour of fintechs, innovators, influencers and connectors in the industry to gain perspective.
The three issues that came up time and again were the value of having a bank charter for the permissions it allows, data security, and regulatory compliance.
The conclusion I’ve reached is there are two main types of fintechs as it relates to these three key issues: Fintechs that want to help financial institutions better leverage their bank charter, become more data-secure, and improve their regulatory compliance, and fintechs that need to leverage a bank charter in a data-secure, compliant manner.
For Sunrise Banks, our future will be decided by how well we serve the latter group of fintechs. We believe this is true because we see the future of financial services no longer exclusively being delivered in a value chain entirely controlled by financial institutions. While having control over the branch or mobile banking app, application, product, and servicing is still appealing to many, we have found fintechs to be birthed by people who have identified a segment and unique need that can be efficiently, conveniently, and securely served through a customer experience they have developed. In many cases, what these folks lack is a partner who can guide them through the dynamically and highly regulated financial services industry and provide them with access to banking services in a secure and compliant offering.
We at Sunrise believe in the potential of fintechs to provide access, products and services to help empower financial wellness and it is our aim to be the financial partner of choice.