Someone has to be first

 In Articles, Blog, Business, Marketing, Uncategorized

Someone has to be first. The majority of banks I know want to be third, fourth or even tenth when launching a new or unproven solution…. but if we are truly going to change our industry… someone has to be first.

First does not have to be high risk or non-compliant.  First just has to be flexible and patient and determined.

I work with #FinTech companies across the country with solutions from lending to saving, subscription management, loyalty and rewards – they are ready to go – except for that first bank customer willing to take a chance. These companies have the ability to help you reshape your business models and deliver products and services to better meet the needs of your existing and future customers.

Remember, someone went first when Online Banking was first introduced, when ATM’s were introduced, when Mobile Banking was introduced and when Mobile deposit came along (thank you USAA!).

At HTMA, we are forever thankful for our first customers. First State Bank in Michigan and Litchfield National Bank in Illinois. Both customers took a chance on an unknown startup with a not yet proven product and helped us to find a way to launch Banker Jr.

ChoiceOne Bank in Michigan has been an invaluable partner, being our very first customer to launch Plinqit. First Arkansas Bank and Trust was both an early Banker Jr. customer and now our second for Plinqit. First Arkansas Bank and Trust is actually credited with being FIS Global’s first bank customer. FIS, now a $9+ billion in annual revenue public company, needed someone to say yes and be first.

These banks have been more than just customers for our startup. They have become friends, and allies in our mutual effort to innovate community banking and better serve our customers. We are now growing and have landed large partnership deals but it wouldn’t have happened without these banks being willing to take the time. They range in assets from $90m to over $1 billion but none were huge, or a BBVA and that shows it’s not about asset size – it’s about mindset.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, as an industry we can no longer be binary.

We have to stop evaluating all products and partnerships as yes or no.

A true partnership with FinTech will be more fluid than that. It may be a:

-Yes, if we can get through compliance, or a

-Yes, but we need these protections in place, or a

-Yes, but we need to launch internally first

When we find something we see potential or long term value in – are we willing to help that small company through our highly regulated process into a pilot launch or internal launch that is invaluable in getting them to their next round of financing and innovation. Remember – although it has not historically been the way we have done it, a product launch doesn’t have to be full roll out or nothing.

The payoff can be tremendous for your bank. ChoiceOne Bank opened over 40 Plinqit accounts in the first 24 hours of their launch. They typically open just over 60 savings accounts across their entire branch network in a month.  First Arkansas Bank and Trust opened 110 Plinqit accounts in 4 business days. They typically open just a few more savings accounts than that in a month across their entire branch network. Deposits are growing in these Plinqit accounts 30% month over month and we have helped hundreds of people start to have real success with savings, but none of this would have happened without their teams being willing to find the yes and be first (and second).

Remember someone has to be first… Why not your bank?

If you are interested in learning more about how HTMA can help your financial institution, contact us today!

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