Q: In which area do you expect to see the biggest growth in FinTech?
The opportunities to create efficiencies and improve the customer experience are abundant. Enabling banks to better serve their customers, improve profitability and better address the regulatory burdens will lead the efforts. Innovation in payments, application of machine learning and AI along with greatly improved regulatory management will be a focus, and the continued application of blockchain technology will create faster, better and more secure transactions.
Q: How can financial institutions use FinTech to engage millennials, the underbanked and SMBs?
FinTech is helping the underbanked gain access to tools that help them reduce the need to have cash and leverage electronic payment and deposit methods. Banks are developing mobile payment platforms that no longer require the need to visit brick and mortar locations. Giving access to these new technologies is enabling anyone with a handheld device to bank anywhere. Millennials are using these resources for mortgages, car loans, managing wealth and payments. Small businesses are getting access to tools for cash flow and inventory/supply chain management that help them be better operators and enhance their ability to succeed.
Q: What advice do you have for a bank interested in partnering with a FinTech startup?
We’ve had great success with our Accelerator in Little Rock exposing bank leaders to innovative solutions from early-stage companies. The dedication and time given to the program by hundreds of high-level banking executives have been integral to this process. Banking leadership recognizes that a collaborative approach is key. Our program focuses on bank enabling solutions that help banks be more relevant to their customers. We’ve created an environment that allows bank leadership and FinTech innovators to work together toward a common goal. It’s amazing what we’ve seen. Two companies have entered into formal reseller agreements with FIS. Another company was endorsed by the American Bankers Association. Eighteen of 20 portfolio companies have raised a combined $22 million in capital after Demo Day.
Q: How can Arkansas be a bigger player in the FinTech community?
We have an advantage in that many of the thought leaders associated with decades of FinTech innovation are here and willing to help. Arkansas continues to develop its workforce and continues to invest heavily in innovation. The cost of living and quality of life here is very appealing to early-stage companies who would otherwise spend considerably more in major markets like NYC and San Francisco. I think that the state is doing great things to attract companies to Arkansas. I am confident that Arkansas will continue to gain significant traction as we demonstrate our ability to build world-class solutions for the financial community.
ABOUT THE VC FINTECH ACCELERATOR
The VC FinTech Accelerator is a rigorous 12-week program that helps 10 early-stage startups grow through training, connections & mentorship designed and delivered by The Venture Center. This is your bank's chance to learn about emerging FinTech solutions, gain a competitive advantage and give valuable feedback to the entrepreneurs shaping the future of FinTech. Act quickly to become a partner and reserve your spot.