Citizens Bank Pursues Partnerships with Fintech Companies
NEC Member Citizens Bank has begun to expand its footprint in the financial technology (fintech) sector through a variety of new partnerships. CEO Bruce Van Saun announced that the company has turned a corner in now starting to play “more offense than defense” with regards to technology.
In recent years, the Rhode Island-based Citizens as entered into partnerships with a variety of smaller fintech firms and startups. In 2017, the bank established at least seven partnerships, and before the end of 2018 they expect to announce three or four more. These fintech partnerships have improved the Citizens Bank experience for customers big and small, evidenced by the bank’s use of an investing platform for its wealth management clients that was built by Silicon Valley startup SigFig, as well as its partnership with Virginia-based Fundation to improve the loan-application process for small-business customers. The company approaches the vendor selection process holistically, looking for the best product capability, fastest path to implementation, and easiest technology to work with, all while keeping costs low.
Citizens has also improved its in-house digital platform to keep up with their increased involvement in fintech, as Van Saun argues, “You have to have a combination of both.” He added, “There are certain skill sets – to really be strong over the long-term in digital capabilities and data science, I think you have to build those skills up in-house and make investments there.”
The NEC congratulates Citizens Bank on this new initiative and commends them on their efforts to improve the banking experience by developing relationships within the fintech industry.