NAB backs online portal to boost bank-fintech collaboration

NAB, Israel’s Bank Leumi and Canada’s CIBC have launched an online portal intended to facilitate collaboration with fintechs.

The site solicits pitches from fintechs to address a range of challenges facing the trio of banks.

A representative of a fintech can select which problems they think they can address, choose which bank they want to pitch to, enter details about their business, and then submit their idea.

At the moment the site lists one challenge: “How can we provide value added services to small and medium businesses on top of their everyday banking needs?”

“In big and complex banks like NAB, CIBC and Bank Leumi, it can be a challenge for fintechs with good ideas to find the right path to the right people, where their concepts can be appropriately considered,” said Jonathan Davey, NAB’s executive general manager for digital and innovation.

“This new platform provides a simple and easy process for fintechs to help connect them into the bank where we can connect that idea to the right people who may be interested in what they have to offer and how we might be able to work together, no matter where they are based.”

The ‘Global Alliance Fintech Link’ platform has been launched as a pilot, according to the banks.

NAB, Bank Leumi and CIBC in September 2016 announced they had entered an “innovation alliance”.

“We see this as an opportunity to jointly develop solutions to problems that are common to our respective customers, leveraging the diverse capabilities that we each bring to the table,” Davey said at the time.

“We’re competing in a rapidly changing world. Everyday new fintechs are challenging the status-quo; we have to not just keep up, but also find ways to get in front. By combining global knowledge and insights we hope to be able to accelerate learning and the development of solutions for our customers.”

The alliance built on previous work between NAB and CIBC to use Ripple for a blockchain proof of concept.

NAB also has a $100 million venture arm. NAB Ventures, led by Todd Fores, has announced investments in a number of startups including Basiq, Data Republic, Medipass, Veem, Wave, Brick X, and Activepipe. In October last year NAB and Westpac led a $2 million seed funding round for Sydney ‘smart receipt’ start-up Slyp.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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