10 Banks That Partner with FinTechs
Over the past several years, one of the biggest trends in FinTech has been startups introducing their own spins on savings and checking accounts. Not only do many of these offerings boast fewer fees than their traditional counterparts and oftentimes better features but many also have their own niches — whether that be focusing on the needs of younger consumers, speaking to environmental concerns, or even embracing cryptocurrencies. Of course, the problem is that the vast majority of these FinTechs are not banks and, thus, cannot offer FDIC insurance.
So, in a clever model, these startups have taken to partnering with various licensed banks — many of which are small, community banks. And while the list of these institutions is growing, observers of the industry may recognize a few names that pop up time and time again. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 such banks that have made a point to partner with FinTechs.
Traditional Banks that Partner with FinTech Companies
Coastal Community Bank
Kicking off our list is Washington-based Coastal Community Bank. They’re the bank powering such FinTech offerings as One, which provides savings features, a unique debit card set up, and credit-builder accounts. Others on Coastal’s roster include teen banking platform Till and small business lender BlueVine.
Choice Financial Group
According to their site, Choice Financial Group was formed in 2001 upon the merger of Citizens State Bank Grafton-Petersburg, First Capital Bank of North Dakota, First State Bank Langdon, and Walhalla State Bank. Interestingly, at the time, their assets totaled $170 million. Today, they partner with the likes of Current — a growing banking platform that eMarketer reports is currently the second-largest neobank in the United States. Elsewhere, they also provided services for the app Lili, which is a business checking account that helps self-employed workers manage their money and prepare for tax time.
Metropolitan Commercial Bank
Headquartered in New York City and traded on the NYSE ($MCB), it’s easy to guess where the “Metropolitan” in this bank’s name comes from. Billing itself as “The Entrepreneurial Bank,” Metropolitan commercial bank issues debit cards in the United States for Revolut. Additionally, they’re listed as another one of Current’s partner banks on the FinTech’s website.
Community Federal Savings Bank
According to its website, “Community Federal Savings Bank opened its doors in Woodhaven, NY on July 17th, 2001 with the intent of bringing old-fashioned, friendly service to the community.” Well, nowadays, its reach goes well beyond that community as it partners with a number of national FinTechs. One example is Ando, which boasts an emphasis on environmentalism and fighting climate change. Community Federal is also the issuing bank behind the unique TomoCredit credit card. Lastly, I also want to mention that the bank formerly issued the sadly now defunct MezuCard (RIP).
Short for “National Bank of Kansas City,” NBKC has been among the most active when it comes to FinTech partnerships in recent years. Among the platforms they power are two offerings aimed at emphasizing giving: Bella Loves Me and Spiral. They also provide services for roboadvisor platform Betterment’s checking account. It’s also worth noting that NBKC’s own Everything Account is one of two currently supported by the personal finance gamification app Long Game.
Evolve Bank & Trust
Another bank whose name has been popping up a lot lately is Evolve Bank & Trust. Evolve happens to be behind both Yotta and PrizePool, which are deceptively similar (yet surprisingly different) prize-linked banking accounts. They also partner with teen banking offering Steps and are listed as the issuer for the long-in-the-works Vital Card.
LendingClub Bank (Radius Bank)
LendingClub Bank is an interesting case where a FinTech is partnering with other FinTechs. This is actually the result of LendingClub’s 2019 purchase of what was Radius Bank. That said, it seems that a couple of companies have recently moved on from LendingClub Bank as both Zeta and Point Card have begun transitioning their accounts to other banks (Piermont Bank in the case of Zeta and Column for Point). Nevertheless, the freelancer-centric Found and others such as FinTron seem to be sticking with LendingClub for now.
The Bancorp Bank
Of all of the banks on this list, the Bancorp Bank may be the most outward about their FinTech aspirations. As they write on their site, their business involves “providing nonbank companies with the people, processes and banking technology to meet their individual needs.” That focus must be working as Bancorp powers what is far and away the biggest neobank in the country: Chime. They also previously partnered with Varo prior to that FinTech gaining its own bank charter last year.
Ohio’s Sutton Bank uses the clever tagline “Old-Fashioned Innovation,” which seems appropriate given its forward-thinking ways. One of the more recent partnerships for Sutton is Fold, with Sutton issuing the app’s Bitcoin-earning debit card. Elsewhere, the bank is also involved with U.S. versions of two British imports, providing banking services for Monzo and working with Revolut on their “Savings Vaults” feature (while the aforementioned Metropolitian Commerical Bank handles card issuance for the company). Oh, and they also partner with the immensely popular Cash App.
Cross River Bank
Last but not least is Cross River Bank — which actually has a pretty interesting history with FinTech. Last year, the New Jersey bank settled litigation brought against Cross River partner Marlette Funding by the State of Colorado and its attorney general Phil Weiser. At the time, the bank called the agreement a “long overdue victory for responsible FinTech partnerships which provide access to affordable credit and financial services to consumers across the country.” In any case, Cross River continues to maintain some high-profile partnerships, including with Upgrade and Wealthfront among others.
Obviously, this isn’t a complete list of banks currently partnering with FinTechs to provide banking services. Furthermore, with new offerings popping up all of the time, we’re sure to see these banks and likely many more stepping in to offer their services. Meanwhile, with some FinTechs also applying to become banks themselves, it will be interesting to see how partnerships such as these evolve along with the industry.
Also published on Medium.