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You Belong With Me

There was a popular sound bite circulating around the internet a while ago (I’m an old Gen Z, so I’m a little behind the curve). The clip shows a young woman offering dating advice to her – assumingly – fed up and frustrated audience. In it, she screams: 

“He’s not the love of your life. He’s literally just a guy!” 

Dating can be really hard. There are apps you can meet on, blind dates to attend, bars or activities to frequent. And even then, you’re “missing out” on so many other people that you maybe could run into if only you were at the other place at the other time doing the other thing. I know a lot of people who get eaten up by that thought. 

Still, most of us continue (or continued) to date and foster relationships. I can only speak to my experience, but most of the time, the guy at the other end of the table was just that. 

Bank and fintech partnerships see this play out all the time. You meet in a vendor hall, you email, maybe even schedule a Zoom call...but then someone decides it’s not a good fit and the relationship ends. This isn’t to say that “dating” your fintech partners isn’t a bad thing, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, chances are you’re going to attract some duds.  

But I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For 

There are certain problems throughout our life that have very simple solutions: If you have a picture that needs to be hung, you’re going to need a hammer. If you’ve broken your hand, you need to go to the doctor for a cast. Granted, the problems that bankers are trying to solve are exponentially more complicated than this: Members that we talk to every day are working on core conversions, faster payments, solving for elder fraud, and so much more. But still, even with these high-impact and high-stakes projects on the roadmap, we see some of our banks set themselves up for challenges because they can’t identify what they’re actually trying to solve for. 

Are your customers not engaging because your mobile app is outdated, or because they can’t accept payments from their friends? Do they want another PFM tool, or do they want someone to actively talk to about their finances? 

Not spending the time to accurately identify and articulate what the underlying problem is tends to make finding the right solution for it complicated, and fast. 

We really try to focus on the "why” behind “we want to try X,” and crack the strategic code. We specialize in forging valuable, productive partnerships between our member banks and strategic partners...but with so many out there, how does one even begin? 

The perfect partner 

True Digital has always capitalized on our belief that technology is just a tool. It’s the means to a larger end, helping banks cut through the noise to find a partner they can really go the distance with. A successful partnership doesn’t just check one box, but helps establish and maintain a bank’s brand and quality of services. 

Bankers have access to information on the thousands of solutions out there.  Not only can they get a head start on due diligence on viable partners, but they can actively see who they don’t want. All the information is standardized and presented in the same way – fintechs can’t pay to play – so there’s no pressure, no marketing, and no platitudes. 

Banks are using the platform for vendor discovery and selection – with over 7,000 vendors included in the platform, it’s hard not to do that. But there are so many other unique use cases that banks are leveraging True Digital for: Finding and learning from peers who are using the same vendors, verifying core integrations, and taking advantage of association partnerships. 

The Alloy Labs sub-network 

Last week, True Digital launched the Alloy Labs sub-network on their platform. Member banks can now visualize and experience data on potential partners in a new way: An active list of members, technology stacks, portfolio companies, Concept Lab alumni, and more – all in one place.  

Our partnership with True Digital is simply another way in which we operationalize partnerships faster for our banks. We’re both dedicated to ensuring that banks don't just swipe right on any partner, but engage in meaningful, strategic actions that drive growth and innovation.  

Banks shouldn’t be scared to date their fintech partners. Dinners don’t always workout and break-ups, as much as they hurt, will happen. Let those experiences inform and sharpen your wants moving forward, but don’t let that impede future partnerships. Because sometimes, the person at the other end of the table turns out to be so much more than "just a guy.”  

You can’t find that from doing nothing – update your profile picture and get swiping (scrolling)! 


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