Creating and defining relationships in fintech

Dhanum Nursigadoo
5min read

A few weeks ago I wrote about how banks and fintechs need to work together. Evidently some are taking notice and learning from each other.

Better together

Starling and RBS recently revealed that they’re collaborating on a standalone digital bank. The news drops the same week that Starling published their annual report, which is probably more than a bit coincidental. Regardless of PR moves, it’s a great sign for the fintech industry. Banks are showing a renewed commitment to working with fintechs in order to move ahead and create a stronger digital offering for customers. And it’s a sign that industry-leading fintechs are doing more work with incumbent services.
2018 is the year of Starling - Ryan Edwards-Pritchard
There’s no telling how many businesses Starling and other fintechs are developing projects with, but it does raise the issue of how they’re doing it. Are Starling working purely as a contractor in this case and only building the payments service for RBS as the article suggests? (the headline they ran with was quite clickbaity) Or are they working together to create a digital service with news bombshells ready to drop in the near future? It could easily be a one-off with RBS by Starling and the neobank will end up with a track record for delivering payments services before expanding their B2B offering. But really nobody knows. Although, one industry insider does have a theory:
Starling don’t really want to be a retail bank, they want to be a banking as a service provider - Sarah Kocianski
It’s a bold claim, but there’s no reason why Starling couldn’t have a B2C offering with a digital bank and still do banking as a service provider products, as laid out in Starling CEO, Anne Boden's open letter. If that’s the route the neobank is going down then it’ll prove an interesting roadmap for other fintechs.

Future relationships

One thing that any fintech, simultaneously going down a business-facing and consumer-facing path, has to stay aware of is the importance of making things crystal clear to their business and consumer clients. DTR. Define the relationship, it’s not just for dating anymore. Otherwise there could be more than a few misunderstandings, it sounds obvious but clients asking for one thing and expecting another is a common issue, just ask any freelancer. On this week's episode of Fintech Insider News, our hosts Sarah Kocianski and Simon Taylor sit down with two great guests: Alexa Fernandez, Open Innovation and Ecosystem Builder at BBVA, and Ryan Edwards-Pritchard, Managing Director at Funding Options to talk about the all the latest news in fintech. You can catch the full Fintech Insider discussion on the new today on the podcast here (go subscribe now, why haven’t you already?).