FIS Founder Spotlight | Nickels

Posted on April 13, 2023
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The FIS Fintech Accelerator in partnership with the Venture Center brings bankers, subject matter experts, and financial service executives together with pre-vetted, market-validated fintech companies to advance the financial services industry. We are so excited to introduce you to an ongoing series of meetings with the incredible alumni of our accelerator, and the impact they’re making today in the fintech industry.

Describe the growth or change your company experienced over the course of the program and the role of the Accelerator in assisting with that growth/change?

We created and launched a new checking account analysis product that helps banks and credit unions refinance their consumers’ third-party credit card debt. The idea took off at a dinner with Mick in Little Rock (Bruno’s) and has now grown into a fully-fledged product that is currently our best seller. We developed the product over the course of the program.

We met Pierce through the program and he became our fourth hire! We grew from a team of 3 to a team of 7 over the course of the program.

How has the FIS/FIV team helped you navigate opportunities within FIS, and how have they been instrumental in making that happen?

I was admittedly skeptical when the FIV team said that the Demo Day ‘graduation’ was not an ending point but the start of a new chapter with FIS.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were exactly right. We meet with Christopher Kirby almost every week and we’re currently working with FIS as part of their sales enablement program.  The sales enablement program is scheduled to launch Nickels in April. We’ve had two warm introductions to major banking clients through our referral partnership with FIS and we expect many more introductions in the coming months. I spent a day at FIS Global’s headquarters in February and met with both their BaaS and D1 teams and we’re having ongoing conversations with their EZ Card platform regarding future integrations.

In what ways have you grown as a founder or team from this program?

The program dramatically increased our exposure to banks and major core banking technology players like FIS. Our knowledge of the space and our connections with key people in the space has advanced by orders of magnitude thanks to the program. We overhauled our team while going through this program, ending engagements with two employees who weren’t a great fit for our future and adding five new team members.

What advice would you give to companies interested in applying for the program?

The opportunity to get in front of banks and credit unions to pitch your products and hear exactly what resonates (and what doesn’t) is unmatched. We were able to get 40+ meetings with decision-makers at banks and credit unions, accelerating our feedback loop by months. My recommendation for other companies interested in the program is to be present (physically and mentally) and use the program to hone your product, learning not just from the banks but also through the other cohort companies in the program.  Some of our biggest breakthroughs came through conversations with other cohort companies.