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  • Kirsi Larkiala

Fintech and bank partnerships generating revenue and end-customer value ?

Fintech and bank partnerships generating revenue and end-customer value ? That is the question of the financial technology era and we still claim that without proper collaboration, it is not possible anymore by banks alone or by fintechs alone. It should now come as no surprise that partnerships between fintech and banks are booming. The fintech industry has access to newer technologies that allow banks to extend their services to a broader customer base, but actually more important is the improvements for internal and external processes and the value now banks together with fintechs can create for end-customers. To gain the full benefits of innovation, collaborations between fintech and banks seem to be inevitable. Financial institutions need new opportunities for optimal sources of revenue. This calls for a major shift in prioritising their digitisation efforts with fintech partners.

How fintech and banks collaborate to drive major innovation?

Partnerships with fintech and banks have often been met with skepticism by traditional institutions in the past. But this seems to be changing gradually in recent years. These days, more traditional banks are realising there’s more they stand to gain, as fintech continues to revolutionise banking, which means in practice that fintechs can bring nice new solutions to end-customers. More customer friendly, more access to data, more speed. The collaboration between banking and fintech can bring about fruitful benefits in many ways. One of the biggest benefits is Immediate access to advanced technology: Another crucial advantage of the alliance between banking and fintech is the direct access to the latest software or technology. In a nutshell, banks will be much better off teaming up with fintech companies to deliver innovative solutions. With less focus on developing and doing maintenance on their own in-house technology to save more time and resources. This means cost cutting and definitely better end-customer experience in many ways. Collaboration between fintech and banks can accelerate the growth process and can help bypass the challenges that come from scaling. By helping to increase market credibility, it can also introduce banks to new customer segments. As a result, this helps to generate more revenue. A successful collaboration can also be a great way to improve customer products. This can help to increase effective technology integration.

How far is Europe? How far are Nordics with the collaboration?

Yes, many things are cooking in all Nordic countries; Sweden being the most active, Finland being the slowest. Almost every bank says that yes, we want to find good partnerships from the fintechs. But to really move ahead and to take end-customers to a pilot is still a rare thing. And from the pilot phase, many great projects do not move to the production phase. Banks are too busy, too much to do with the organisation never ending changes, so many internal meetings still and too much to do with the maintenance of existing complex legacy systems and the cost-cutting of resources.

Technology is at the core of major breakthroughs. Happily, with Buying Teams we found Societe Generale in France. Yes, indeed, Nordics always say that we are forerunners, but this time France won the game! Societe Generale says: “ Through close collaboration, we partner with startups to bring their products and solutions to market, scaling them up as they gain exposure across the bank and the industry.With a value-add mindset as the cornerstone of our approach, we position Societe Generale as a potential client, helping to design cutting-edge features and foster user adoption.Our objective is to help grow sustainable businesses without conditions or limitations in the development of our partner startups.” Many people in the Nordic countries have not followed what Societe Generale is actually doing and how they have informed many innovative things for the startup ecosystem only during the last months!

Last week they had their inaugural #FrenchTech "New Dimensions, New Horizons" conference, which brought together entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors, and decision-makers present and active in Paris. They are also active with trade finance and climate actions: Financial institutions are recognised as influential actors for climate action through financing and investing, while also playing an important role through sustainable trade finance which can bring an outsize impact on CO2 emission reduction in multiple sectors worldwide. Societe Generale´s Shujue Cai, Head of Structured Trade and ESG Transaction Banking for Asia Pacific, is driving innovation on how sustainable trade finance is driving EnergyTransition in the region. Two months ago Societe Generale congratulated Komgo for acquiring GlobalTrade Corporation, creating the world’s largest platform for the digitalisation of TradeFinance. Digitalisation of Trade Finance activity is a strong pillar of strategy at Societe Generale and being shareholders of Komgo, they aim at delivering the best trade finance experience for corporate clients.

They also announced some months ago their Global Markets Incubator’s newest promotion, which will focus on start-ups driving a positive impact on the financial industry and society.

The latest news many missed is that Societe Generale’s Payment & Transaction Banking Business Accelerator is going full speed! They announced the following: “Until the end of February, we will build innovative solutions with some amazing #fintechs to answer our clients’ needs: WaveBL - digitalizing Trade Instruments. WAVE BL is a blockchain-based digital platform that facilitates the traditional process of transferring original paper documents electronically. The proprietary solution enables instant, encrypted, and authenticated transfer of trade documents and other unique digital documents. WAVE BL's platform is designed to meet the needs of all parties involved in trade, from major market players, such as carriers and shipping companies, to agents, brokers, and banks. FinLync - simplifying API connectivity to our customers' ERPs and treasury management solutions, ProsperUs - developing CBDC - compatible wholesale banking transactions, CarbonChain - helping our customers measure and reduce their carbon footprint, BuyingTeams - assessing Customer satisfaction. We are extremely happy that these fintech companies’ innovative solutions are moving! Especially proud of the Buying Teams crew! To put it simply; today, the global banking industry is accelerating digitalization to maximize benefits. But what about the field of customer feedback? With BuyingTeams’ platform, banks can analyze valuable customer feedback in real-time and take actions to address the corporate customers’ needs, leading to large benefits!

To read more about Societe Generale fintech actions:


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