Fintech Apiture launched a tool last month aimed at helping banks harness data to better drive customer engagement through their digital banking platforms.
The Wilmington, North Carolina-based firm partnered with software company Pendo to create Data Engage, a tool that allows financial firms to deliver tailored messages such as pop-ups, sales and marketing notices, tutorials and guides to customers through their digital banking platform.
"Our sweet spot is really about between $500 million and up to about $10 billion in asset size. We do have some banks that are bigger than that," said Chris Babcock, CEO of Apiture, which offers digital banking solutions to more than 300 regional banks and credit unions in the U.S.
Though the tool is new to the market, Babcock said he sees interest from clients and prospects.
Apiture’s multitenant solution creates a “community effect,” Babcock said.
All of the customers run on the same version of the software, so Apiture can cross-sell to any of its clients add-ons developed for any individual projects.
The launch of Data Engage comes as Newtek Business Services Corp. announced that Apiture would support Newtek Bank’s digital platform after it acquires the National Bank of New York City (NBNYC). Newtek received approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) — weeks after it got a green light from the Federal Reserve.
Founded in 2017, Apiture was launched as a joint venture between First Data Corp. and Live Oak Bank. Fiserv has since acquired First Data. Now, Apiture is a private company with board representation from Fiserv, Live Oak and other investors. It boasts more than 200 fintech partners.
Babcock said his company plans to expand into embedded banking. Offering digital banking solutions through embedded banking would help extend the reach of the regional business via the internet and mobile phone, he said.
Using the example of a travel agency, Babcock explained how embedding financial components directly into the practice management software that the company is using would save them the effort of logging in elsewhere to view transactions or even open accounts.
"We think embedded banking and embedding those finances into practice manager software further increases the reach of those banks, allowing them to be able to compete with the bigger banks," he said. "They might be local and build those strong relationships. But now, they can get a deeper relationship with the small businesses they serve. So, they can keep that feel of a community regional bank but have some of that additional technical savvy."
Speed and innovation are the differentiating factors for Apiture, Babcock said.
The pace of innovation is slow for more prominent players, he said, adding that CEOs of existing providers have complained it takes around a year to get a new integration to function.
"We try to really innovate at the speed that they need to be able to do their business,” Babcock said, noting the company’s success with a concept called feature flagging.
“The ability to add a new feature and turn it on and off, depending on what the bank or credit union buys — that helps us roll out new things quickly [and] set it up for a particular institution," Babcock said.
The pandemic accelerated customers’ switch to digital banking, and the shift continues.
"You see a lot of companies that are kind of pulling back a little bit and having trouble maybe raising capital. [But] we're on a path to be cash-flow positive, and we're really firing on all cylinders," Babcock said. "So we're excited to take advantage of some of that time in the market."