Core technology providers catch the blame for not innovating fast enough, putting community banks — which don’t have the resources to develop software solutions internally like the nation’s largest banks — at a competitive disadvantage. Historically, core technology companies have been software providers, not developers.
Banks looking for innovative solutions for their customers often turn to third-party developers
, yet getting those products integrated with their core system can be complex and costly. Negotiating changes to core contracts to build in innovation increasingly means onerous fees, contentious contract negotiations, and damaged relationships. “Community banks feel like they’ve been held hostage a little bit in not being able to innovate fast enough,” Kevin Tweddle, vice president of innovation and financial technology at the ICBA, told the American Banker
Blaming doesn’t move the needle on innovation, however. Investment does. Just last week, the ICBA announced a new partnership with The Venture Center
of Little Rock, Ark., in order to launch the ICBA ThinkTech Accelerator. “This first-of-its-kind accelerator will help community banks directly engage fintech companies focusing exclusively on community bank product development and solutions,” said ICBA’s President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey.
Through its new partnership, ICBA will invest
in eight to 10 promising fintech companies engaged in developing tech solutions to streamline the customer experience, build next-gen lending products, improve cybersecurity, tackle payments issues or reg compliance, and give banks a boost in data analytics.
At its core, the ThinkTech Accelerator is collaborative, and it has the potential to create fintech products tailored for community banks. “We have the ability to impact the industry and develop relevance for our industry instead of waiting for the right solution to come along,” Tweedle told the American Banker. In other words, community bankers just took control of the car that will drive innovation.