NAB pilots fintech collaboration platform


NAB is seeking the expertise and innovation potential of the global fintech industry, building a new portal to facilitate partnerships between financial technology companies and an alliance of three banking heavyweights.


Dubbed the Global Alliance Fintech Link, the new collaborative platform is the result of a three-way partnership deal between NAB, Israel’s Bank Leumi, and Canada’s CIBC.

Through the online platform, aspiring fintechs from across the globe will be able to submit proposals and solutions to a range of opportunities identified by the banks.

The web-based portal gives fintechs a direct collaboration channel with each bank, offering “global marketplace” to share their wares and expertise with the incumbents – particularly those focused on enhancing CX. This, the banks contend, will give start-ups direct access to an established banking ecosystem and a golden opportunity to help scale their businesses.

Jonathan Davey, EGM Digital and Innovation, National Australia Bank, in praising the new platform, acknowledged the considerable obstacles faced by fintechs in getting their foot in the door of the big banks.

“This new platform provides a simple and easy process for fintechs to help connect them into the bank where we can connect that idea to the right people who may be interested in what they have to offer and how we might be able to work together, no matter where they are based,” Davey said.

Greg Elcich, VP Enterprise Innovation & Wealth Digital at CIBC stressed that any opportunity to stimulate further creativity and growth in the global fintech industry will also prove beneficial for the incumbents.

“Transformative innovation is key to meeting the ever-evolving needs of clients, and this new platform gives us the opportunity to identify new and emerging technologies that will drive solutions as we build a relationship focused bank for a modern world.”

Establishing a formal partnership in 2016, the banking trio sought to share proprietary innovation strategies to expand their customer experience capabilities. However, Fintech Link appears the group’s first tangible fruit from their longstanding collaboration.

Speaking at the AltFi conference last April, Davey said technology was not the only drawcard held by the wily start-ups, highlighting the depth of talent at fintechs’ disposal – skills that could potentially be leveraged by partnering banks.

“We’ve partnered where we see another organisation and say ‘they’ve got a level of capability that we could never hope to copy or build ourselves internally and certainly not at the speed of which we’d need to’,” he said.

“There’s a talent angle as well, as partnerships really does provide us with access to really smart founders that can really help educate and teach NAB about the way our industry continues to change.”