Charles Potts: Assesing potential fintech partners

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Maximizing each step in the innovation journey, including the fintech evaluation process, will set you on the right path to a fruitful fintech partnership.

By Charles Potts, ICBA

When it comes to innovation, understanding how we do it may be plane increasingly important than why. With technology upgrades and consumer wits unceasingly ranking as senior priorities for polity banks, there’s no question that innovation serves as a strategic imperative. But the weightier tactical implementation tideway remains uncertain.

In truth, the wordplay comes lanugo to finding the right partner. And you’ll want to maximize each step in the innovation journey, including the fintech evaluation process. Ensuring you have the answers to the pursuit three questions will set you on the right path to a fruitful fintech partnership:

  1. Does the solution resonate with a need at your bank? Many fintechs have flashy offerings, but if what they provide doesn’t instantly solve a problem for your bank, it isn’t an firsthand fit. Prioritize deeper engagement with those companies that offer solutions that fit your merchantry needs, write the challenges you squatter and provide the opportunities you’re looking for as a bank.
  2. Who within your wall needs to be engaged? Once you’ve been intrigued by a product demo, you need a deeper swoop into the solution. Bringing in your internal subject-matter experts from day one will make it increasingly efficient. Depending on the product, you may need technology leaders, marketing experts, risk and compliance teams, back-office operations, consumer support representatives, and other team members engaged in the decision-making process, so loop them in early for the biggest benefit.
  3. Who’s using the solution, and where are the referenceable use cases? Plane when you’re engaging at the primeval stages of a new product, fintechs will have proof of concept and pilot examples. Lean on those references and reach out to peers who are using the solution. Those conversations will requite you a largest understanding both of cultural fit and where the pitfalls may lie.

These questions are a good starting point as you engage in vendor discussions, so the sooner you start, the increasingly you can maximize your time. And, with ICBA LIVE virtually the corner, these questions have the widow goody of preparing you for the all-star ThinkTECH Accelerator showcase, where select alumni will demonstrate their solutions.

In addition, information from ICBA’s new digital transformation education series, which is a part of Polity Banker University and will be unveiled at LIVE, will provide guidance to support the next steps in fintech engagements.

This is the year of innovation in action. At ICBA, we’re upping our innovation game, and we know you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and do the same. We’re inward the phase of implementation, where the question becomes not why innovate, but how. And in today’s landscape, that’s precisely where we need to be.

Charles Potts ( is ICBA executive vice president and senior innovation officer