Find out what's happening in communities across America, from grassroots advocacy efforts, to fintech innovations and everyday successes of Main Street banks.
By Kevin Tweddle
Big data. Machine learning. Artificial intelligence. These interrelated technologies have become the topic du jour for our industry and speak to the importance of the data-rich coffers upon which community banks sit. And while community banks understand the wealth of opportunity this data represents, it often feels more like buried treasure than prolific bounty.
ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator finalist KapitalWise is hoping to help community banks unearth hidden gems in their data by identifying changes in financial behavior that allow them to offer current customers new products or services.
“We have built a platform to help community banks interact with their customers at scale,” says KapitalWise CEO Sajil Koroth. “We amplify different life events and financial events that might be relevant to a banker to start a conversation or take an action to recommend a product.”“Community banks have a goldmine of data that is untapped,” Koroth says.
The KapitalWise team has worked to make its sophisticated data-scanning product as seamless as possible for bankers as part of their regular workstream. For example, a bank conducting a daily file pull can use the resulting data set for KapitalWise’s analytic program. There is no need for a separate data source. What’s more, KapitalWise can automate this process, incorporating bonus features like file sharing between bank teams. KapitalWise requires minimal integration and can be up and running for new customers in days, according to the company.
“Taking data out of these siloed compartments inside of community banks and then pairing it with third-party data is maybe still in the second or third inning,” remarks Zach Pettet, vice president and fintech strategist at $684 million-asset nbkc bank in Kansas City, Mo. “It’s companies like KapitalWise that are really going to help push it to the fourth, fifth, sixth—and all the way to a place where it really can add value.”
KapitalWise counts a few larger financial institutions among its current customers but hopes to expand its reach to empower more community banks to harness the strength of their data. The company has started conversations with core providers, as well as individual institutions—many of these relationships built during their time at the Venture Center.
“The Accelerator program helped us to customize the product for community banks,” Koroth says. “Community banks are relationship-oriented, and the tools we have built are to enhance that relationship.”
In an environment where community banks are working to become more high-tech and high-touch, they are seeking to personalize customer interactions. New solutions that help them dive into their treasure trove of data, while maintaining their role as guardians of their customers’ privacy and personal data, will be in high demand.
Kevin Tweddle is chief operating officer of the ICBA Services Network.