Last summer I wrote a blog post about The Courage to Change. Many bank readers commented how they ARE changing: Their evidence were projects to add digital account opening, partnering with fintechs, and getting into BaaS. These projects are steps in the right direction but hardly acts of courage because the starting point and the ending destination are relatively known.
Courage is stepping into the unknown where failure is not only an option, but also likely.
In September of 2018, twelve banks gathered in Chicago to rethink banking. Chris Nichols of SouthState (at the time CenterState) introduced himself with something to the effect of: “I’m not sure we can pull this off, but if we can, we want to be part of it.” Alloy Labs was born two months later following one of the group’s core principles: actions are greater than words. We were stepping into the unknown; there was no clear destination or path to get where we wanted to go, but we were committed to action and that we needed to make change happen.
Today, Alloy Labs is a top 10 bank by combined assets and probably a top 5 by customer count given the number of BaaS banks that are members. It isn’t size that matters, however, it is outcomes. Being part of Alloy Labs becomes part of the operating system for how our members work. From leveraging co-created best practices like the Guide to Third Party Due Diligence, to partnerships generated in Concept Lab like The Cooperative Bank’s partnership with Carefull, to building industry wide utilities like our open payments network.
Here’s the thing about uncertainty: sitting in a conference room, reading another consulting report, or attending another conference rarely clarifies the situation and “what should have been done” is only visible in retrospect. Those who want to control their destiny, must make it.
Here’s to the Change Makers at Alloy Labs that are charting our course and making it happen day after day. *Jason Henrichs, CEO & Co-Founder