About 10 Minutes is All it Takes: Bank of the West's FinTech Solution Delivers Small Business Express Lending - Fast, Easy Access to Capital

SAN FRANCISCOApril 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Bank of the West announced today the launch of Small Business Express Lending– an online platform designed for small businesses seeking business capital. Through a 10 minute application online at www.bankofthewest.com/expresslending, upon approval, small businesses can receive up to $100,000 in as little as two business days. Small Business Express Lending is also available in branches, providing full digital capabilities and bankers with expertise to help when needed.

“Small businesses are the bedrock of the U.S. economy,” said Michelle Di Gangi, Executive Vice President and Head of Small and Medium Enterprise at Bank of the West. “I come from a family of small business owners and learned early on the critical need for this type of financing coupled with access to business banking experts when you need them. We want to be the financial advocate that helps small businesses grow and thrive in the communities we serve.”

Small Business Express Lending was built in collaboration with fintech firm, Fundation, to deliver fast, simple applications for small business owners. “Customer expectations when consuming financial services products have and will continue to change,” said Sam Graziano, CEO of Fundation Group LLC. “We’re excited to collaborate with Bank of the West, a leader in innovation, to offer a market leading borrowing experience for small business owners.”

The Small Business Express Lending Platform:

  • Uses a simple, online application that can be completed at home or in a Bank of the West branch with the help of a small business banking expert.
  • Provides rapid approval and funding in as little as two business days for up to $100,000.
  • Includes Business Lines of Credit, Business Credit Cards, and Non-Real Estate Term Loan products.
  • Saves time through its convenient start-to-finish digital application with closing via electronic signature.

About Bank of the West

We are driven by our fundamental belief in redefining banking for a better future. At a time when people demand more from companies, we are taking action to ensure our activities help protect the planet, improve people’s lives, and strengthen communities. That’s why we are focusing on areas where we can have a real impact: supporting energy transition, helping enable women entrepreneurs and financing innovative start-ups. As the bank for a changing world, Bank of the West is committed to sustainable finance along with our parent company BNP Paribas. Through Digital Channels and offices across the U.S., Bank of the West provides financial tools and resources to more than 2 million individuals, families and businesses.

About Fundation

Fundation Group LLC is a credit solutions provider focused on the small business market nationally. Fundation is a leader in providing technology and application processing services to support more than 25 super regional, regional and community banks. Fundation’s solutions enable its financial services clients to develop a digital lending capability, provide a great customer experience, drive cost efficiency into their small business lending program, and maximize the number of customers they can serve. Fundation’s services range from simple referral partnerships to customized, integrated private labeled lending programs. The Company also partners with a wide array of organizations that serve the small business market in various capacities to deliver credit products to the business community nationwide. For more information, please visit www.fundation.com.

Deposit and loan products offered by Bank of the West, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. © 2019 Bank of the West. Doing business in South Dakota as Bank of the West California.


Provident Bank to expand small business loans with Fundation

Provident Bank and Fundation announced Tuesday the launch of a program to expand small business loan approvals for customers of the Jersey City-based bank.

With the new feature, small businesses can apply for term loans ranging from $15,000 to $250,000 and lines of credit from $20,000 to $150,000 and receive funds in as soon as one business day.

Fundation Chief Executive Officer Sam Graziano said the company’s platform was developed to serve the small business community with speed and convenience.

“This will enable us to effectively serve the growing small business market by providing the loans that many small businesses need to grow and reach their full potential,” Josephine Moran, Provident Bank executive vice president, director of retail banking, said in a prepared statement. “In turn, this will assist these businesses to flourish and create new jobs in our communities.”

Virginia-based Fundation provides credit solutions through technology and application processing services.

Provident Bank is celebrating its 180th birthday this week by offering customers the chance to win prizes and enter a giveaway. On Wednesday, refreshments will be served at all branches to commemorate the occasion.


Provident Bank Launches Digital Lending Capability for Small Business Customers Powered by Fundation

Program will expedite and expand small business loan approvals for Provident Bank customers

ISELIN, N.J. & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Provident Bank and Fundation today announced a new digital lending solution that will enable the New Jersey-based bank to offer a new, streamlined, end-to-end, lending program for small businesses seeking a business loan or line of credit. The solution enables small businesses to apply for term loans from $15,000 to $250,000 and lines of credit from $20,000 to $150,000, through a simple application and receive funds in as little as one business day.

“Very few small or large banks accept small business loan applications online”

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According to the FDIC Small Business Lending Survey in 2018, “Very few small or large banks accept small business loan applications online”. According to the Federal Reserve, awareness of online lenders has grown, and business owners increasingly turn to these companies for funding. In 2014, less than one-in-five credit applicants (18 percent) sought financing at an online lender, rising to nearly one-in-four (24 percent) in 2017.

“We’re proud to extend our commitment to small businesses through this strategic alliance with Fundation,” said Josephine Moran, Executive Vice President, Director of Retail Banking. “This will enable us to effectively serve the growing small business market by providing the capital many small businesses need to grow and reach their full potential. In turn, this will assist these businesses to flourish and create new jobs in our communities,” concluded Moran.

Sam Graziano, CEO of Fundation, added, “Our platform was developed to deliver credit with speed and convenience to small businesses, without asking them to compromise the quality of product and pricing they expect from their bank partner. Aided with this new capability, Provident Bank will be able to offer their local small business customers a market leading lending program.”

Small business owners can apply online at Provident Bank or visit their local Provident branch to apply in-person, where they will be able to work with a Banking Center Manager to assist them with their application.

About Provident Bank

Provident Bank, a community-oriented bank offering “Commitment you can count on” since 1839, is the wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS), which reported assets of $9.73 billion as of December 31, 2018. With $6.83 billion in deposits, Provident Bank provides a comprehensive suite of financial products and services through its network of branches throughout northern and central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. The Bank also provides fiduciary and wealth management services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Beacon Trust Company. For more information about Provident Bank, please visit www.provident.bank or join the conversations on Facebook (ProvidentBank) and Twitter (@ProvidentBank).

About Fundation

Fundation Group LLC is a credit solutions provider focused on the small business market nationally. Fundation is a leader in providing technology and application processing services to support more than 25 super regional, regional and community banks. Fundation’s solutions enable its financial services clients to develop a digital lending capability, provide a great customer experience, drive cost efficiency into their small business lending program, and maximize the number of customers they can serve. Fundation’s services range from simple referral partnerships to customized, integrated private labeled lending programs. The Company also partners with a wide array of organizations that serve the small business market in various capacities to deliver credit products to the business community nationwide. For more information, please visit www.fundation.com.

Contacts

Media:

Provident Bank
Keith Buscio, 732-590-9407
Keith.Buscio@provident.bank

Fundation
Barry Feierstein, 571-418-6387
Barry.Feierstein@fundation.com

Bridget Nagle
Sard Verbinnen & Co (SIVIC)
630 Third Avenue, New York NY 10017 | 212.687.8080 | sardverb.com


Case study: Citizens Bank – fintech friendly

US heavyweight pivots for digital era

Citizens Bank, headquartered in Providence Rhode Island, 50 miles south of Boston, is the 13th largest bank in the US with $158.6 billion in assets. Beyond its physical locations in 11 states, it is using digital platforms to reach customers across the nation loans and savings products.

Since undertaking an IPO spinout from RBS in 2014, Citizens Bank has moved quickly to develop digital capability across the bank including peer-to-peer (P2P), trade finance, robo investment advisory, digital small business lending and an entirely digital savings bank, Citizens Access. In its drive to digital, Citizens is working with fintech partners, developing its own solutions and sponsoring hackathons.

“We’re doing quite a bit in digital,” says Charles Beyrouthy, assistant vice-president at Citizens. “We have quite a few different programs including partnerships with fintechs and fintech initiatives.”

The bank wants to be part of customers’ lives in a way they don’t have to think about, he added. It is working on artificial intelligence to understand customers’ spending habits so it can suggest ways to save for a specific objective, like a vacation, by setting aside a reasonable amount toward that goal on each payday.

The emphasis is on making it easy for customers by presenting information they can act on rather than leaving them to research to see what is available.

“Providing capabilities is not enough; we have to provide them in a way that is intuitive.”

To understand their customers better, bank staff get beyond data to spend time with clients.

“That is often under-done by tech companies and banks,” says Beyrouthy.

In his strategy role, Beyrouthy works between fintechs and the line of business (LOB) organisations in the bank.

“We do quite a bit of due diligence and work with folks in different verticals,” he explains. “We think about how the technology could work — the LOBs are the ones who are dealing with the customers, they understand who the customers are and how the customers could use the technology. Our job is to empower the LOBs in terms of seeing the value of the technology.”

To get out on the cutting edge, the bank is reaching out to local universities, meeting with startups and sponsoring hackathons.

In July 2018, Citizens hosted a hackathon and brought in 150 innovators in different technologies and tech enthusiasts to innovate around four themes:

  • 360-degree engagement with customers by consolidating all the customer information the bank has.
  • Liquidity crystal ball — what tools can Citizens provide to help customers understand their cashflow challenges.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and digital engagement — how can Citizens leverage AI platforms to increase its response rate and support capabilities to its customers.
  • Social banking — how can Citizens better deliver more personalised products to its customers.

“The idea was for us to get insight into initiatives at MIT, Harvard and U Mass and see how, or if, they could be applied to the bank, how they could help us innovate and think differently about the future of banking. From that point we started talking about proofs of concept and we have had some great collaborations.”

Working with fintechs, especially new fintechs, presents some challenges for a bank in due diligence – especially around security and compliance but also the financial stability of the fintech.

“We have a cybersecurity team that looks into the risk,” Beyrouthy says, “and we are launching a broader initiative to work with fintechs that aren’t product-ready but might be in the future.”

Fintechs can offer a bank some new approaches to customer experience, he adds, including AI, chat bots, analytics and personalisation.

Charles Beyrouthy, Citizens: “We are fintech friendly and very interested in helping them grow”

“In the past six months we have talked to 200-plus start-ups; we are committed to really aggressively pursue this market. We are fintech friendly and very interested not only in partnership with them but also in helping them grow. A lot of fintechs are looking for a partner willing to coach them in how to approach the market.”

Fintechs are often focused on the front end of finance — customers and customer experience — things they understand as customers themselves.

“Customers want to interact with the bank more than most people realise,” Beyrouthy notes. “We are already involved quite a bit with our customers and I anticipate that as our technology capabilities grow we are going to be much more involved. We are very focused on being able to bring the product the customer needs at the right time, being able to personalise the experience, understand where they want to spend, how they can better spend it and develop a payment that is personalised to that experience.

“A lot of banks are not able to clearly comprehend the extent to how customers are engaged in a digital space.”

The bank’s new credit card has been very successful, although it went through a few iterations to arrive at what it offers today. When it launched, the Citizens card offered 1.5% cash back, plus another 10%, or 1.65%, if you used it once a month for six months, plus another 10% if you deposited the cash back in a Citizens account. It all got a bit too complex, and in 2017 the bank decided to simplify the card and just set the cash back at 1.8%.Nerdwallet, a financial rating site, approved.

“Power to the people!” wrote Robin Saks Frankel on the site. “If you’re carrying the Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World Mastercard, that is. This card’s flat cash-back rate of 1.8% on all purchases puts it ahead of a slew of cards from bigger banks offering 1.5%. But the lack of a sign-up bonus or the opportunity to earn bonus rewards might cast a bit of a pall over some in the crowd… If you like the idea of simple straightforward rewards, this might be the right card for you.”

But it is in digital capabilities that Citizens is doing really well. It has a partnership with Fundation, a digitally-based lending provider to process applications for small business loans. It lets small businesses apply for a loan or line of credit through a simple online application and receive a decision the same day in most cases. For some businesses that who do not meet Citizens’ credit requirements, Fundation will provide loans itself, expanding the number of businesses that can obtain credit through their Citizens Bank application.

Peter Wannamacher, principal analyst at Forrester, approves of the joint approach.

Banks dislike turning down small business loans, since it often has other relationships with the business owner — such as business and personal checking accounts, credit cards, student loans for the business owner’s children and perhaps a mortgage. Rejecting a loan application might be very harsh for the business owner, but being able to say the bank can help her get a loan from another source can be very powerful. And if the business is growing, it may qualify for a bank loan soon.

“Banks want good relationships with SME owners and operators, whether or not that operator is someone they can lend to,” Wannamacher adds.

Sam Graziano, CEO of Fundation, says the partnership has created a model for a bank and fintech to work together.

“The results are already showing that the bank will be able to reward a broad array of small businesses with the type of borrowing experience they are coming to expect from best-in-class financial services companies.”

In 2017, Citizens launched SpeciFi, which offers consumers a unified view of their banking and investment accounts from their online banking homepage through the SigFig platform.

“We think SpeciFi is a game-changing service that will make investing more accessible to a larger set of customers, while providing an entirely personalised and integrated banking and investing experience,” states the bank’s spokesperson.

The bank charges clients 0.5% for assets under management, about half what brokers typically charge, but more than some pure robo firms, including the 0.25% SigFig charges as a standalone platform, with no charge on the first $10,000.

The spokesperson explains: “SpeciFi from Citizens Investment Services offers customers an integrated view of their bank accounts and investment accounts all in one place, with the ability to move money among accounts simply. One fee covers both the investment management service and the cost of trades.

“SpeciFi customers also have the opportunity to consult with a financial advisor by phone for no additional charge, and/or set up an in-person consultation with one of our branch-based financial advisors who can offer advice on a range of investment products and services.”

For its commercial banking platform, the bank has turned to Bottomline Technologies to offer an integrated suite of cash management and payment services that can be tailored by market or industry segment. Citizens says it selected Bottomline after extensive industry research for its intuitive navigation; simplified transactions; integrated payment workflows and user self-service capabilities.

Digital tools like Bottomline help reduce paper and friction. Beyrouthy said the bank is continually working to increase digitalisation of processes to provide better customer services and faster processing.

In April 2018 the bank announced it would work with Indian system integrator and technology provider Infosys to implement Finastra’s flagship trade finance solution, Fusion Trade Innovation. The bank says the new solution this will “enable Citizens’ corporate clients to digitise traditionally paper-based trade processes, leading to increased efficiencies and reduced costs”.

Michael Cummins, head of treasury solutions at Citizens, says the bank was also looking at other corporate banking solutions, such as syndicated lending and supply chain finance, that Finastra could provide.

The bank’s technology received some detailed coverage in the annual report where the banks said it had a focus on open architecture to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment and harness innovation. Citizens also said it would place a greater emphasis on cloud computing to drive efficiencies and re-engineer its development away from waterfall to more agile development.

By Tom Groenfeldt, editorial contributor to FinTech Futures


Fundation Launches Digital Lending Capability with Banc of California for Small Business Customers

Fundation Launches Digital Lending Capability with Banc of California for Small Business Customers

Program will expedite and expand small business loan approvals for Banc of California customers

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fundation announced that it has recently launched a digital lending solution in partnership with Banc of California, enabling the California-based bank to offer a new, streamlined end-to-end solution for small businesses seeking a business loan or line of credit. The solution enables small businesses to apply for loans and lines of credit through a simple online application at Bancofcal.com and receive funds in a little as one business day.

“Very few small or large banks accept small business loan applications online”

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According to the FDIC Small Business Lending Survey in 2018, “Very few small or large banks accept small business loan applications online”. According to the Federal Reserve, awareness of online lenders has grown, and business owners increasingly turn to these companies for funding. In 2016, some one-in-five credit applicants (21 percent) sought financing at an online lender, rising to nearly one-in-four (24 percent) in 2017.

Sam Graziano, CEO of Fundation, added, “Our platform was developed to deliver credit with speed and convenience to small businesses, without asking them to compromise the quality of product and pricing they expect from their banking partner. Aided with this new capability, Banc of California will be able to offer their local small business customers a market leading lending program.”

About Fundation

Fundation Group LLC is a credit solutions provider focused on the small business market nationally. Fundation is a leader in providing technology and application processing services to support more than 25 super regional, regional and community banks. Fundation’s solutions enable its financial services clients to develop a digital lending capability, provide a great customer experience, drive cost efficiency into their small business lending program, and maximize the number of customers they can serve. Fundation’s services range from simple referral partnerships to customized, integrated private labeled lending programs. The Company also partners with a wide array of organizations that serve the small business market in various capacities to deliver credit products to the business community nationwide. For more information, please visit www.fundation.com.

About Banc of California, Inc. (NYSE: BANC)

With over $10 billion in assets, and 32 offices throughout California, Banc of California is the only full-service, midsize bank focused exclusively on California. They provide innovative banking and lending products to diverse businesses, entrepreneurs and communities throughout California.

Contacts

Media:
Fundation
Barry Feierstein, 571-418-6387
Barry.Feierstein@fundation.com


Fundation Secures $120 Million Credit Facility from SunTrust Bank

Fundation Secures $120 Million Credit Facility from SunTrust Bank

Additional Credit Facility Provides Funding to Support Acceleration of Company’s Growth

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fundation, a leading digitally-enabled lender and credit solutions provider, today announced that it has secured a $120 million asset backed credit facility from SunTrust Bank. Waterfall Asset Management was included in the facility as a Class B lender. This additional credit facility further enhances Fundation’s capacity to extend credit to small businesses across the United States.

Sam Graziano, CEO of Fundation said, “Garnering the support of one of the leading super regional banks engaged in asset backed finance is another milestone for our Company. As we continue to bolster the size and quality of our capital base, we can become an even stronger ally to our strategic partners and their small business clientele.”

Fundation focuses on delivering credit to small businesses through various forms of strategic partnerships, including banks, other financial institutions, and various service providers to the small business market. Fundation currently has strategic partnerships with Regions Bank, Citizens Bank, the BancAlliance network of community banks, the Minority Business Development Agency and a host of other partners.

Fundation, majority-owned by New York based private equity firm Garrison Investment Group, performs origination services for regional and community banks as well as originates small business loans and lines of credit for its balance sheet. Fundation maintains a separate $120 million asset backed credit facility with Goldman Sachs Bank USA which was secured in August of 2016, and a $35 million facility with MidCap Financial which was secured in March of 2017.

About Fundation

Fundation Group LLC is a digitally-enabled lender and credit solutions provider. The Company develops integrated small business lending solutions with banks, enabling them to optimize their credit delivery process on an omni-channel basis and maximize customer retention. The Company also partners with a variety of organizations that serve the small business market in various capacities to deliver small balance commercial credit products. For more information, please visit www.fundation.com.

About SunTrust Bank

SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses, and communities it serves. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Headquartered in Atlanta, the Company has two business segments: Consumer and Wholesale. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate, and institutional clients nationally. As of March 31, 2018, SunTrust had total assets of $205 billion and total deposits of $162 billion. The Company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. Learn more at suntrust.com.

Contacts

Media:
Fundation
Barry Feierstein, 571-418-6387
Barry.Feierstein@fundation.com


Citizens Bank and Fundation Mobilize Credit Delivery

Citizens Bank and Fundation Mobilize Credit Delivery

MAY 16TH, 2018

While Citizens Bank and Fundation are certainly not the first bank and fintech company to work collaboratively together, theirs is unlike any other, both parties say, because of the relationship that exists between the two organizations.

Providence, Rhode Island-based Citizens, a top-20 U.S. bank at $152 billion in assets, partnered with Fundation, a fintech firm in Reston, Virginia that focuses on credit delivery to improve the efficiency and turnaround time for small business loans under $150,000.

Fundation’s technology serves as the entire front end, essentially a white-labeled online application, for Citizens’ commercial lending line of products, providing a technology platform that includes underwriting, closing and engagement tools, and features a decision engine that, based on certain criteria, determines “up front” which loan goes to Citizens and which to Fundation, according to Jack Murphy, president of the business banking division at Citizens.

“What makes the partnership unique is there’s a fair amount of folks in this space who outsource this type of lending to the partner,” Murphy said. Instead, the application process is integrated into Citizens’ own digital platform, a top priority for the bank, Murphy said.

“We wanted to integrate (it) into our technology.”

Citizens and Fundation won Bank Director’s Best of FinXTech Partnership award, presented May 10 at the FinXTech Annual Summit, held at The Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The platform allows for an entirely electronic application process, and enables Citizens’ lending team to physically go to and visit its small business customers to start or complete that application. Customers can also begin the application process in a branch, and finish at home, “or in their car,” Murphy joked, though he doesn’t advocate driving and applying for a commercial loan at the same time.

“It’s really become the front-end to our core underwriting system,” Murphy said.

Fundation has multiple bank clients, but its credit delivery platform uses data and a decision engine to automate much of the decision-making framework that many banks have and still use when reviewing applications. It also simplifies the compliance assessment, including the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) final rule that was developed just two years ago and became effective in May 2018.

There is automated scoring in approving small loans, allowing Citizens to focus its human capital on other strategies, like bigger, more intensive applications and projects that need more careful review while also reducing paperwork that can be cumbersome. It also has in some ways upended the entire underwriting process—they use bank statements instead of financial statements as part of the application process, and the technology determines which loan goes to the bank and which goes to the partner automatically up front.

The technology has only been available to all customers since the end of March 2018, but getting to that point involved months of due diligence, whittling down a list of nearly two dozen other firms before ultimately selecting Fundation.
“We took about a year to research who might be the best partner for us,” Murphy said, noting that it all began with the goal of improving the customer experience through a digital platform.

The board considered whether to buy, build or partner with a fintech, but ultimately there was only one choice.
“The fintechs have not had the balance sheets or cost of funds or the customer bases that the banks have, so partnership is really the best way for the two companies to business,” Murphy said.

Culture and cohesion between the two companies was half the driving force behind the decision to choose Fundation, Murphy said, in a crowded and competitive fintech market. Murphy said they wanted to partner with somebody who was “not just a tech company,” but a “partner that has a similar vision.”

Like other banks, Citizens has several relationships with fintech companies which provide other services, like SigFig, for instance, a tech-based personal investment platform. But Fundation offered something that was new to the bank, and has in just a short time already proven its worth.

It’s shortened the time from application to credit delivery to as little as three days, which in previous generations could have taken weeks, and generated “many multiples” of increased demand since a series of pilots with the software last fall.

The transformation of this credit delivery, he said, is far more than what some banks have done, which Murphy described rudimentarily as simply taking a paper-based loan application and converting it to an online webform.
“That’s not digital,” Murphy said. “Digital is literally the entire experience being electronic.”

Citizens wanted to make its application process fully digital, Murphy said, which has reduced costs and improved efficiency for the bank. And that result has not only transformed the bank’s commercial lending process, but how it strategizes its future.

“This is for us, I would say step one in a journey of multiple products and multiple ways of making it easier to do business with the bank, not vice versa,” Murphy said.


2018 Best of FinXTech Awards Finalists Announced

2018 Best of FinXTech Awards Finalists Announced

Bank Director and Promontory Interfinancial Network Announce Finalists In Three Categories

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Bank Director and Promontory Interfinancial Network have announced the finalists for the 2018 Best of FinXTech Awards, which recognize institutions that exemplify how collaborative efforts can lead to innovative solutions and growth in the banking industry. This year’s Award categories included Startup Innovation, Innovative Solution of the Year and Best of FinXTech Partnership.

Startup Innovation Finalists

  • Seacoast Banking Corp. + SmartBiz Loans: Stuart, Florida-based Seacoast partnered with online lending marketplace and platform SmartBiz, of San Francisco, to take the bank’s Small Business Administration loan business nationwide.
  • Radius Bank + Alloy: Radius Bank partnered with FinTech Alloy to help transform into a digital first bank. By using Alloy’s smart identity platform and API, Radius can deliver a superior experience to their new customers signing up online – offering an instant decision in 98% of the cases, whilst reducing onboarding fraud by 50%.
  • ChoiceOne Financial Services + AutoBooks: ChoiceOne Financial Services of Sparta, Michigan, expanded its services to small business clients by partnering with Detroit-based business banking platform AutoBooks to offer treasury services.
  • Pinnacle Financial Partners + Built: Pinnacle partnered with Built, a fintech firm focused on construction lending, to streamline the bank’s construction loan management process. Both companies are based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Innovative Solution of the Year

  • U.S. Bancorp + SpringFour: Seeking to help mortgage customers that were falling behind on their loan payments, U.S. Bancorp integrated Chicago-based SpringFour into the bank’s mortgage servicing operations and website.
  • CBW Bank + Yantra Financial Technologies: CBW Bank became the first bank in the U.S. to publish its APIs by working with Yantra Financial Technologies to launch the Y-Labs Marketplace. The Y-Labs Marketplace is an initiative that enables banks to rapidly introduce new payments, products and services with industry specific benefits.
  • USAA + Clinc: USAA partnered with the artificial intelligence platform Clinc, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to pilot an Amazon Alexa skill that helps USAA members access information about account balances, transactions and spending patterns.

Best of FinXTech Partnership

  • MVB Financial Corp. + BillGO: MVB and BillGO, based in Fairmont, West Virginia, and Fort Collins, Colorado, respectively, partnered to develop a real-time bill payment solution that improves the financial lives of more than 5 million Americans.
  • TCF Financial Corp. + D3 Banking Technology: As part of TCF’s digital transformation, the Wayzata, Minnesota-based bank leveraged D3’s digital banking platform to improve the customer experience, including a re-designed and intuitive mobile banking app; easier ways to deposit checks, pay bills and transfer money; and advanced budgeting and savings tools.
  • Citizens Financial Group + Fundation Group: Citizens Financial, of Providence, Rhode Island, partnered with Fundation, of Reston, Virginia, to digitize the credit delivery process across all channels for small business loans and lines of credit.

The winners of the 2018 Best of FinXTech Awards will be announced at the FinXTech Annual Summit, brought to you by Bank Director and Promontory Interfinancial Network, in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 10, 2018. This event brings together senior executives from across the financial space to focus on new growth strategies and opportunities available to banks today.

About Bank Director
Since 1991, Bank Director has served as a leading information resource for the directors and officers of financial institutions. Through its monthly Bank Director magazine, executive-level research, annual conferences, and its website, BankDirector.com, Bank Director reaches the leaders of the institutions that comprise America’s banking industry. Bank Director is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee. More information can be found at BankDirector.com.

About Promontory Interfinancial Network, LLC
Chosen by more than 3,000 financial institutions nationwide, Promontory Interfinancial Network is the leading provider of FDIC-insured deposit placement services. Banks of all sizes can use the company’s balance-sheet management solutions to build multi-million-dollar relationships, reduce collateral requirements, purchase funding, manage liquidity, and buy or sell loans.

Source: BankDirector.com


Fundation Purchases Select Assets from Able Lending to Enhance Partnership Strategy

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fundation Group LLC, a leading digitally-enabled lender and credit solutions provider, today announced that it has acquired a variety of assets from online small business lender, Able Lending of Austin, Texas.

“Able should be commended for developing some exceptional technology. The addition of these assets to our platform will further strengthen the value we bring to our bank partners and other strategic partners.”

Fundation develops a wide array of strategic partnerships with banks, other financial institutions, and various service providers to the small business market to deliver value added credit products to their small business client base. This acquisition is intended to enhance the scope of services that Fundation provides to its strategic partners, with enhanced capability for demand generation and customer acquisition.

Sam Graziano, CEO of Fundation said, “Able should be commended for developing some exceptional technology. The addition of these assets to our platform will further strengthen the value we bring to our bank partners and other strategic partners.”

About Fundation

Fundation Group LLC is a digitally-enabled lender and credit solutions provider. The Company develops integrated small business lending solutions with banks, enabling them to deliver credit online, drive cost efficiency into their lending programs, and maximize customer retention by providing a positive customer experience and meeting the needs of the small businesses they serve. The Company also partners with a variety of organizations that serve the small business market in various capacities to deliver small balance commercial credit products. For more information, please visit www.fundation.com.

Contacts

Fundation
Media
Barry Feierstein, 571-418-6387
Barry.Feierstein@fundation.com


Citizens Digitizes SMB Lending Process With Fundation

By PYMNTS Posted on November 3, 2017

www.pymnts.com

Citizens Bank is enhancing its small and medium-sized business (SMB) lending offering by digitizing the loan application process, according to a press release published by the financial institution (FI) on Thursday (Nov. 2).

The bank is launching a new platform, built in collaboration with alternative online lender Fundation, allowing SMB customers of the bank to apply for a loan or line of credit and receive an approval online. Citizens said that, in “most cases,” applicants are informed of a decision the same business day and receive funds within three business days.

“We understand that our small business customers are busy running their businesses and serving customers, so there’s little time left for lengthy [loan] applications, documentation, meetings and waiting for answers,” said Citizens Bank president of business banking Jack Murphy in a statement. “With our new digital lending technology, we have simplified the process of applying to smaller credit requests and are making it possible for more businesses to access the credit they need online, with rapid decision making and funding.”

Fundation has struck other partnerships with traditional FIs, and spoken out about the value it sees in collaborating with traditional FIs, telling PYMNTS in 2015 that such partnerships are “a great conversation point in our industry.”

“We are trying to really work to build a solution that exists right on a bank’s homepage, so we can really partner to get the customer into the right product,” said Fundation CEO Sam Graziano at the time.

In another statement issued Thursday, Graziano again emphasized the effectiveness of bank-FinTech collaborations.

“We believe what Citizens Bank has created is the ideal model of how to leverage the collective strengths of a digitally minded bank with a digital solutions company like Fundation,” he said. “The results are already showing that the bank will be able to reward a broad array of small businesses with the type of borrowing experience they are coming to expect from best-in-class financial services companies.”