It’s been over a year and a half since COVID-19 first emerged, disrupting everything in its path in one way or another. While all industries were forced to shift aspects of their business model, few were hit as drastically as those within fintech.
As everything needed to be available for online purchase immediately, fintech companies providing the infrastructure were forced to act, and fast. It became apparent that the answer to this was not going to be developing everything in-house, but leveraging the needed technology that’s already in existence, creating strategic and imperative partnerships along the way.
Some would say that COVID-19 created this shift, but in reality, collaboration has always been the secret for fintech companies to forge ahead. As more and more fintech disruptors have surfaced and as bluechip companies have increasingly disrupted themselves, competition is fiercer than ever. The only way to provide more for clients and successfully scale has become relying on external partners to innovate faster. If Canada is going to be a key player within the fintech community, we’ll have to embrace collaboration like never before.
Within Financeit, this has been a huge propeller of the company’s growth for many years – since its inception, Financeit has been built on three types of partnerships that have resulted in more innovation and a better product for the direct customers and the end-users. Let’s break down the differences that they’ve made.
1. Utility partnerships to instantly make the platform and other fintechs better. Because we’re built on API, we’ve been able to focus on perfecting the core offerings of Financeit, which is to give our customers the most competitive lending rates, provide flexible financing options, and get them paid quickly, while plugging into digital partners for all other needs. Our existing partnerships with 13 companies have enabled us to create a better service and help other fintech companies be a better service for their customers. Within Financeit, this has looked like easier authentication for users, ID verification for safer product use, and frictionless pairing with the users’ bank for efficient payments.
2. Commercial partnerships allow for unique customization. A notable example of this is our relationship with Samsung HVAC America, where we co-created a specific financing program for their customers. It involved taking the pulse of the market and Samsung HVAC dealers, which lended to the aspects we included within the program. We then co-branded a financing program, borrowing cache from each other while adding extra value to the end-user. As brands continue to look for bespoke options for their customers, we anticipate that we’ll see more of these partnerships take shape within fintech moving forward.
3. Financial Institution (FI) balance sheet partnerships help build user trust. Taking on loans from any institution requires trust in that organization – indeed, when it comes to money, you can never be too careful. At Financeit, we like to let our strategic partnerships with top financial institutions do some of the talking for us when it comes to trust. We have four partnerships with major Canadian financial institutions that not only allow them to tap into our established brand and operational expertise to drive value for them as a lender in our space, but reiterate to our current and prospective customers that we – and by extension, they – are in good company.
As we look ahead to the future of fintech, we’ll continue to see leaders within the space preach the necessity of partnering. Given the evolution of a potential open banking framework in Canada, we should see the fintech industry continue to grow, bringing with it more services and product offerings for Canadians. Standing out amongst what will be even greater competition will be reliant on the friends you make along the way.
Michael Garrity is the CEO at Financeit.
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