March 19, 2021
“Innovation is the unrelenting drive to break the status quo and develop anew where few have dared to go.” Coined by marketing and business expert Steven Jeffes, this sentiment describes the response of community banks to the unprecedented opportunities and challenges they face in the wake of COVID-19.
Yet, cycles of rapid innovation like we’re seeing now give rise to new challenges all their own, especially in the areas of risk mitigation, security, and other back-office operations.
That’s why ICBA and The Venture Center gave particular attention to identifying innovative back-office solution providers for this year’s ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator cohort. These solutions run the gamut from robotic process automation for online lending to cybersecurity oversight through an automated governance solution.
A closer look at this year’s ThinkTECH back-office solution providers show why interest in this particular cohort has reached new heights.
With risk management and security at the forefront of everyone’s mind, we chose Beauceron Security for one of our Accelerator spots. The company aims to boost bank employee cybersecurity awareness and minimize risk through phishing simulations, risk scoring, and computer-based training.
Instead of focusing on what employees are doing wrong, the Beauceron platform rewards positive cyber-risk behaviors, which catalyzes employee growth and lasting behavior change—a critical element of risk management often overlooked.
Finosec is, a company focused on addressing the unique challenges of cybersecurity oversight and validation through its automated governance system. The platform uses a five-step process to simplify cybersecurity management using a combined focus on customer information, money movement, vendor management, minimizing employee risks, and governance.
Also notable is the platform’s dashboard, which offers a snapshot of your financial institution’s exam preparedness at any given time.
As a technology company that deploys robotic automation tools for online lending, Shastic lets community banks automate repetitive tasks, increasing productivity by reducing manhours used to gather missing information. This interactive, conversational banking tool accelerates the lending process and offers compliant, high-level security and data protocols.
Predictably, the past year's events have made customer acquisition and retention an even higher priority for community banks. Z-Suite Technologies’ digital escrow platform makes it easier for community banks to expand their product offerings into commercial escrow and sub-accounts.
The company’s property management solutions go beyond digitizing existing solutions with added security enhancement and tools to facilitate landlord/tenant compliance requirements.
Upswot uses a white-label platform to help community banks gather real-time data about the business performance of their business customers. The platform tracks accounts, receivables, accounts payable, profit, losses, and other metrics so community banks can offer their business customers personalized insights based on a deeper understanding of their customers’ financial performance.
This year’s ThinkTECH Accelerator participants incorporate lessons learned over the past year to address the emerging trends and shifting needs of community banks and their customers with innovative back-office solutions. These fintech providers and solutions challenge the status quo and pave the way for community banks and their customers to continue leading the market.
Charles E. Potts is ICBA senior vice president and chief innovation officer.