Earlier this year, nine startups including Fraud.net,  joined ICBA and community bankers from across the country for a 12-week boot camp as part of ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0.

Now in its second year, the program brings together promising fintechs and community bankers for in-depth conversations about the solutions the industry needs to move forward.

team building
“The early stage fintechs from this year’s ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator have a message for community bankers: Together, there’s no innovation or technology that isn’t possible with the right strategy in place.”

Quickfire fintech trends
This year’s ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator cohort reveal three other trends on their radars.

Faster payments and paychecks

Many workers, especially gig workers, are getting paychecks as quickly as the same day. Booshan Rengachari, founder of Finzly in Charlotte, N.C., says more and more workers will want their money instantly, and this speed will be fueled by real-time payments (RTP). Thanks to a push from community bankers and ICBA, the Federal Reserve is working on FedNow, an RTP network that will help make this possible. “Expectations have shifted,” he adds. “Customers want to transact faster payments. If you’re not going to enable them, you’re going to lose their deposits.”

Boosting the back office

While consumer-facing solutions draw attention, says Kevin Shine, vice president of sales and partnerships at Fraud.net in New York City, it’s solutions that quicken the pace of compliance, credit decision-making and other back office functions that will see more interest. “I think you will continue to see a wave of innovation to help community banks move away from manual process to automation,” he adds.

Blending modern tools with old-school service

Donald Hawkins of Griffin Technologies in Overland Park, Kan., understands community bank relationships. Back in his hometown of Albany, Ga., his family’s relationship with its community bank went back to his great-grandparents. But the customer journey to a bank today looks different. Customer acquisition and marketing tools supply context on consumers. Before, if a a customer was considering buying a car or home, their bank would have learned that through face-to-face conversations, which is less likely today. “We like to take our customers on a path to go back to the past to see how things used to be,” he says. “Griffin is the modern-day format for banks to be able to do that.”

These FinTech specialist had a great deal to say about Big Data, AI-driven solutions, their perspectives on the industry, what’s ahead for community banks and how they can best prepare for it.

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