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Banks & Fintech: Getting Stuff Done Together

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My inbox and social feeds have been full of announcements over the past few weeks, mostly from fintechs celebrating new solution launches to address the challenges of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP). Clearly, a lot of midnight oil is getting burned in fintech.  

THUMBS UP! This innovation is to be celebrated. 

At Cornerstone Advisors, we always pay special attention to bankers sharing their fintech ecosystem stories. Nothing against proud announcements from fintechs, but while some of us at Cornerstone come from fintech leadership backgrounds, most of us are former bankers, and we really love hearing banking stuff from bankers.   

Two of the best stories we’ve heard are from Atlantic Union Bank and Citizens Bank of Edmond.

As Tom Groenfeldt reported in Forbes, Atlantic Union’s Kelly Dakin sought a solution to the bank’s SBA PPP surge and worked with Temenos to build a new, custom digital loan portal in less than a week.

On Twitter and LinkedIn, Citizens’ CEO Jill Castilla shared Citizens’ early response to customers, drawing the attention of celebrity investors, including Mark Cuban. When Castilla openly asked for SBA PPP solutions and said she would be the chosen fintech’s “biggest cheerleader,” a solution co-launched with MX was announced by Castilla within days.    

This is not an endorsement for either of these fintech providers or their solutions. We think it’s just very impressive to see Dakin and Castilla leverage the fintech world this way.   

Without strong fintech providers to assist, it would be impossible for community banks and credit unions to help their clients. Can anyone imagine a $300-million-asset bank like Citizens getting this much leverage from tech built solely by internal teams? Heck no. It’s important that strength and capital support the fintech ecosystem to help the likes of Castilla, Dakin and their GonzoBanker peers. It’s great that fintech deals are still happening.

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