Regent Bank, a community bank based in Tulsa, OK has always been more forward thinking than many other banks of their size. They’ve expanded into new business lines and have stood up programs for banking underbanked businesses. Having an entrepreneurial spirit by nature, they continued to explore new, innovative ways they could grow their bank.
Enter: Synctera and Banking as a Service.
Growing deposits by partnering with non-bank companies
Over the past few years, banks have been increasingly seizing the opportunity to grow deposits and fee income by partnering with non-bank companies through Banking as a Service (BaaS). In a recent study conducted by Cornerstone Advisors, 19% of US-based banks and credit unions are currently pursuing or in the process of developing a BaaS strategy to grow their institutions.
BaaS allows a variety of non-bank companies, anyone from FinTechs like Brex to retailers like Walmart, to offer banking products to their customers. The non-bank company is able to build deeper relationships with their customers by offering banking products, while the financial institution benefits from low-cost deposits and new revenue streams.
“BaaS is a way for us to bring in bulk deposits that help us grow our bank, while also diversifying our income stream and generating fee revenue,” said Steve Baker, Chief Administrative Officer/EVP at Regent Bank.
With the benefits of building a BaaS program clear to Regent, the next step was to understand the requirements, both from a technology and compliance perspective, of developing and launching a resilient BaaS program.
“We went through a deep education process,” says Steve. “We did a lot of our own research, as well as talked with other banks and consultants. We wanted to understand if this was something we should do on our own, or if we needed partners to help us get our BaaS program up and running.”
Launching a sustainable BaaS program with Synctera
Regent’s education about the BaaS space helped them understand that they needed to find the right partner to help put together all of the pieces required to launch a BaaS program. These pieces typically include:
- The technology stack that allows a bank’s non-bank partners to easily launch banking products
- A sound risk and compliance framework for managing BaaS partnerships
- Ongoing operations infrastructure
- Relationships with potential non-bank partners
To make a long story short, building out these capabilities themselves was a non-starter. There were too many resources they would have to use and/or bring in, and of course too much time. Both would be cost-prohibitive and defeat the purpose of exploring these new lines of business.
By partnering with Synctera, Regent Bank was able to fill in the gaps in order to efficiently build a comprehensive program. Not only did Synctera provide the technology platform that made it easy for Regent Bank to partner with FinTechs and companies looking to embed banking products, they also helped Regent build the framework for how to compliantly manage these partnerships on an ongoing basis.
“Synctera had the experience and the platform we were looking for,” says Steve. “I had to ask myself, do we have the expertise or personnel to build this up independently? To achieve what we have without Synctera, I would have had to hire at least 10 to 15 new people to do it on my own.”
Launching their program with the right BaaS partners
As a part of Synctera’s platform, Regent Bank was connected with pre-vetted companies that wanted to launch banking products. Through Synctera’s matching and due diligence process, Regent partnered with companies that fit the criteria of what sort of program they were looking for, ensuring mutual compatibility.
When considering a FinTech partner, Regent primarily looks for two things, according to Steve: “A good idea, and does it fit in with our goal of increasing deposits at the bank.”
Through Synctera, Regent has already partnered with a wide variety of companies, such as a banking platform for nonprofit organizations, an innovative health insurance solution, a debit card provider for college students, among others.
With their program now up and running, Regent has set year-end goals for both deposits as well as revenue associated with their BaaS program. Halfway through the year they are already on track to surpass both of those.
“It’s hard to do both technology and banking well. With Synctera, we were able to easily integrate with the technology stack we needed to launch a BaaS program. We get to partner with FinTechs while focusing on what we do well, personal relationships and service. It allows us the flexibility to do both technology and banking.”
Finding the right partners that compliment your bank’s core competencies is integral to building a sustainable and compliant BaaS program. And that’s where we come in.
Want to chat about how Synctera can help your bank grow deposits and earn additional revenue? Drop us a note.
<div class="rt-btn-wrap"><a href="https://synctera.com/contact-us-banks" class="button yellow w-button">Get in touch</a></div>