By Charles Potts
Technology can be a great enabler and with the escalating health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s served as a pivotal resource in helping navigate new societal norms. From online grocery orders to distance learning, our technological infrastructure is helping facilitate necessary connections and keep our economy churning.
In that same fashion, the technologies community banks have deployed over the past decade—from mobile apps to remote deposit capture to contactless cards—mean that today, we can continue to access our finances, anytime, anywhere—even within the confines of our home.
That visionary drive led us to the launch the ThinkTECH Accelerator program, with the help of our partner, The Venture Center, to help match community bank needs with fintechs to solve for challenges and opportunities in 21st century banking. We debuted the second iteration of this program back in January, when we kicked off a 12-week bootcamp at the Venture Center in Little Rock, Ark.
For this second cohort, we surveyed our bankers to get their thoughts on the pressing issues of our time and use this insight in select this year’s fintech candidate pool with solutions geared to address financial well-being, lending and technology, data analytics and fraud, and customer acquisition and retention.
As the bootcamp comes to its natural conclusion, these companies are ready for prime time, but more importantly, they are stepping in to help community banks operate amid unforeseen challenges and change.
Virtual Demo Day
Accelerator 2.0 culminates in a Demo Day that will unveil our nine participants’ newly enhanced and refined technological solutions. And, with COVID-19 keeping us all in place, for this cohort, our Demo Day is going virtual.
So, please mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 8 from 1:00-2:30pm (Eastern), when each of our fintech participants will present a live, seven-minute demo of their community bank-centric solution. We encourage you to register now and join us to hear more about how these technologies can support your bank now and into the future.
ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator Participants Give Back
Even as they are infusing new, necessary solutions into the market, Accelerator participants have been met with a different landscape than our reality just a month ago. And they are demonstrating the power of their offerings and helping community banks rise to the challenge in these uncertain times to help them create high-tech, high-touch experiences that benefit their customers.
Some of our participants are even providing special offers to further assist community banks in this turbulent environment. From free solution access to deferred billing options, companies specializing in everything from customer-facing operations to loans to fraud and cyber solutions are working to make their products more widely accessible and help community banks meet customer needs during these unique and challenging times.
And while we can’t know what the future holds, one thing remains certain, during ups, downs and everything in between, community banks will always go the extra mile to serve their customers and community and ensure they continue to thrive.
Charles Potts is ICBA senior vice president and chief innovation officer.