Smaller banks are partnering with providers of cloud-based banking technology to develop lending and payment products that are more competitive compared to those from fintechs and larger institutions.
These partnerships focus on products such as buy now/pay later, early salary payments, online loan applications and credit cards.
“It’s difficult for community banks to compete with the fintechs that are entering the market and with the innovative products and services provided by big banks,” said Samantha Pause, chief marketing and benefit officer at Mascoma Bank, a Lebanon, New Hampshire-based community bank. “We need to transform our technology stack so we can be innovative, move at a faster pace, and control our own destiny.”
In January, Mascoma Bank said it would replace its core processing system with London, U.K.-based Thought Machine’s cloud-based Vault platform. Mascoma, which has assets of $2.6 billion, is migrating to the cloud because it currently relies on its legacy core banking provider to deliver products for its customers.
“We want to develop products that suit our customers rather than what our core provider tells us to provide,” Pause said.
Mascoma is interested in finding out if offering buy now/pay later might benefit its customers, Pause said.
Using Thought Machine’s APIs, Mascoma will be able to connect separate systems, including loans, cash management and digital banking, into its core system, and offer customized products and pricing.
“All our data will live in one space so staff can use it to understand our customers and make better decisions,” said Pause. “We can give them products they need instead of throwing the product of the month at them.”
A bigger market through the cloud
Seattle Bank, a boutique bank with a single branch in Seattle, migrated to London, U.K.-based Finastra’s cloud-based banking platform in February 2020.
“We knew technology would be important in enabling us to compete with larger banks and fintechs,” said Josh Williams, Seattle Bank’s chief banking officer and head of partnerships.
The bank is working to expand beyond its high-net-worth client base into the mass market and target other U.S. geographies beyond its core market of the Pacific Northwest with services such as consumer lending and early salary payments. It also wants to offer customized credit limits for high-net-worth customers, Williams said.
Seattle Bank, which has $762 million of assets, plans to use Finastra’s APIs to integrate via banking-as-a-service with fintechs that want to leverage its license and liquidity to provide services where they own the client relationship. It also aims to provide embedded banking to…