Banks and fintech partnerships: a clash of extremes
“We really like their technology and the unique value they bring to clients. Nevertheless, they recently stole two good clients from us, so we will not disclose any more information and there’s no way that we will partner with them.”
These are the words from the Head of Corporate FX at a German bank that we met with a couple of years ago. He was talking about us.
We had been introduced to him by someone else from the same bank in order to have a discussion about a technology partnership – and this is how the discussion ended. This was also the moment I really started to understand the way most bankers still think, and how challenging partnering with any bank would be.
Since that time we have advanced a lot in terms of our partnerships, however, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
Partnership agreements between banks and fintechs are one of the most-discussed topics in fintech; in this article, I’ve summarised a few of the key lessons we’ve learned during the past two years in the hope that it drives smoother collaboration efforts.
Banking is probably one of the few industries with the highest level of risk aversion. Here, I am not only speaking about their clients’ risk in relation to credit, loans and derivatives, etc., – which is most banks’ core business and the main reason they are heavily regulated – but about how individual bankers approach risk as a career breaker or enabler.
Let me explain.