The BrightFit logo and the Sterling National Bank logo on a plum-colored background

Fintech is a disruptive and transformative addition to the world of finance, but what do companies really receive with a fintech partnership?

Throughout the years, more financial institutions have started looking for partnerships offered by fintechs around the world. The promise of partnerships is appealing, giving financial institutions the idea that there will be a shared balance between the companies, but the reality can be less balanced than the term “partnership” implies. Banks deserve the support and service that fintechs promise, but it is time that fintech places a higher focus on giving back and offering additional support.

Fintech Customer-Centricity

Financial institutions want compelling partnerships with fintechs that will help them to elevate their brand and better serve their customers. However, as more time passes, these same institutions are beginning to realize that bringing in new technology is really the bare minimum, and top-performing fintechs are offering more. With so many fintech partnerships falling short, financial institutions are looking for partners that value them and offer continuous support. Allied providers are more valuable than traditional “partnerships” and can offer community banks and credit unions additional support. At the heart of this is customer-centricity.

How Fintech Partnerships Lack Customer-Centricity

Existing fintech partnerships are often built on the agreement that the customer, a financial institution, and their fintech partner are meeting each other’s needs by bringing together a push for innovation and modern technology. While this sounds like two companies joining forces to improve the finance industry, the reality isn’t quite as balanced. There will always be a growing need for fintech, which means that the customer’s need is almost always higher. This makes it very easy for fintechs to offer the bare minimum and nothing more. When fintechs settle for offering the bare minimum, they are not thinking about customer needs.

Why is Customer-Centricity Important?

Customer-centricity means offering service that is centralized around the needs of the customer. Companies that are customer-centric naturally provide more value because they are actively trying to bring more value. While fintechs might offer compelling products and services, relying entirely on the technology and its potential rather than the actual customer needs can leave the customer wanting and needing more. Being customer-centric allows fintechs to explore the ways that their technology and future iterations of it can be sculpted to provide greater value for the very financial companies that fintechs partner with.

How Can Fintechs Meet These Needs?

Every financial institution has unique needs, and this is a crucial starting point for fintechs that are looking to be more customer-centric. Rather than simply offering technology, fintechs should be offering solutions that take into account the challenges that financial institutions grapple with when implementing changes. Focusing on the individual status and needs of the customer instead of simply offering the technology itself as a standardized solution can be a big improvement. This involves key considerations focused on the financial industry and the institutions themselves.

The Challenges Faced By Financial Institutions

The finance industry operates on a global level and impacts billions of people from all walks of life. Given its expansive reach, the need for regulation and balance across new and existing institutions is significant. This truth creates several unique challenges that financial institutions must navigate. With an allied provider in fintech, institutions can more easily navigate these circumstances to ensure that their client innovation needs are met while meeting the required security and convenience that the industry and its customers demand.

Legacy Tech

Fintechs offer banks and credit unions a chance to bring their systems into the future, but they don’t always account for the technology that is already in place. The majority of institutions are heavily dependent upon legacy technology that has been adapted and evolved throughout the years. This can make transitioning to new technology difficult when considering training, conversions, and security.

The Balance Between Regulation and Innovation

Innovation is every company’s favorite buzzword, but it isn’t always simple in the finance industry. Regulatory requirements can slow or halt progress, especially when it comes to evolving technology. Given the ways that regulations can change, financial institutions must have systems that can accommodate this need for change when it presents itself. This means that banks need fintechs that are committed to their current and future success.  

Bringing More to the Table

Fintechs are often formed from the need for technology, but they do not always consider the additional needs that customers might have. Being a true asset to a bank or credit union means providing real service, consistent support, and staying customer-centric to ensure that each new need is met with security, function, and convenience. With a more thoughtful approach, fintechs can be the valuable assets and support systems that the financial industry is looking for.

The Takeaway

Offering true and dedicated support to financial institutions should always be the core focus for fintechs that are looking to form valuable partnerships. BrightFi was founded by experts from across banking and technology and uses these years of multi-industry experience to provide powerful digital transformations and technology solutions. We place our customers at the center of all that we do, and we hope that our peers in the industry will do the same. Finance and the powerhouses that keep this industry running deserve the best support that we can offer, which is we go the extra mile to meet your needs.