This week’s tech news, filtered for financial services execs

April 4

Hello and welcome to Insights Distilled, a weekly email briefing that curates tactical technology news for financial services execs. Every Tuesday morning, we send you the top five stories you need to know – and explain why they matter. Our tech news roundup helps you stay on top of the innovations driving business agility in your industry. To get next week’s edition in your inbox, sign up here.


This week’s edition highlights the power of collaboration. 

We bring you features about big banks working together, making strategic investments in cutting-edge technology, and partnering with fintechs to improve their products.  

We’re also launching a special report that explores key tactics for creating efficient, effective partnerships. We tapped our network of industry experts to speak with leaders from top financial firms and innovative ScaleUps to deliver tactical advice and insightful guidance on how to build better relationships between FinServs and fintechs.  

Let us know what you think, and what topics you think we should tackle in-depth next.  

Now, let’s dive in: 

  1. Expert advice: Leaders share their top tips on working with fintechs in this exclusive report
  2. Faking it: Why Wells Fargo and other banks just invested in a generative AI startup
  3. Gen Z loyalty: This fintech is helping banks launch interactive education tools to hook teens
  4. Teamwork time: Four new banks just joined a collaborative industry effort to transform the loan market
  5. Let’s get personal: A new report links loyalty and personalization

Making technology relationships work: Execs share their key advice, questions, and tips on working with fintechs in Insights Distilled’s exclusive report. 

Working with fintechs can help financial institutions quickly launch innovative features and delight customers. While there’s no magic formula to crafting successful relationships, we’ve put together a playbook to help you build better partnerships. 

Big FinServs need to get better at partnering with startups. Upwards of 75% of banking leaders say they feel “pressured” to collaborate more with fintechs to meet consumer demand, according to a recent survey of 800 execs, but many are still “wrestling with the challenges” of doing so. 

“If you look at the industry at the moment, it can take 12-to-18 months for a bank to onboard a new supplier,” according to Oscar Brennan, the CRO of TechPassport, an organization created in collaboration with 15 global banks that aims to fast-track engagements between FinServs and startups. “As one fintech put it to me recently, ‘One of us is working in dog years, and one of us works in human years.’ There’s a real parallel.”  

To figure out how banks and insurance firms can speed up that process and work with ScaleUp more effectively and efficiently, Insights Distilled asked Brennan and six other leaders from the likes of Lloyds’ and Genesis Global about their guidance, expertise, and experiences.  

To learn what they told us, download the exclusive report here.  


Wells Fargo, Nationwide Building Society, and others just poured funding into a startup that slashes synthetic data provisioning from six months to three days.  

Financial institutions often need to use fake data in product development to protect customer privacy – and generative AI makes building complex, realistic datasets much easier. 

A handful of big banks are getting real about fake data.  

UK-based startup Hazy just raised money from Wells Fargo, Nationwide Building Society, and Intesa Sanpaolo bank, among others, to simplify the previously time-consuming, expensive, and risky process of wrangling test data.  

“Teams now get realistic data in hours or days, rather than weeks or months,” according to Nationwide’s chief data officer.  

Synthetic data creation is another example of generative AI, which has become one of the hottest areas of investment and experimentation.  

While some financial institutions choose to generate their fake data independently, finding a dedicated partner can help save time and effort (Insight Partners’ portfolio company Tonic AI also has a slew of finance and insurance clients).  


This fintech is making it easy for the likes of Morgan Stanley to start building relationships with young people. 

To avoid losing GenZ (and GenAlpha) to neobanks and other digital upstarts, traditional banks need to find ways to build their brands with young consumers. Interactive financial literacy resources can help hook them early. 

Kid-focused fintech Greenlight just announced a new program that allows banks and credit unions to offer its suite of education products to their customers – and institutions like Morgan Stanley and Washington Federal have already signed on.  

“Neobanks are coming after Gen Z really aggressively,” and Greenlight’s resources give banks the ability to start building relationships with that generation “before they start getting bombarded,” Greenlight exec Matt Wolf told Banking Dive.  

The co-branded experience gives banks a low-lift way to integrate engaging, kid-focused content into their existing ecosystems.  

“With 42.9 million Gen Zers estimated to use mobile banking by 2025, there’s a big opportunity to build relationships with young people starting now,” Wolf added to Insights Distilled.  

Morgan Stanley will offer Greenlight’s suite of tool to its CashPlus brokerage clients for free, allowing them to “teach their children about the world of money,” according to exec Tom Stanmeyer.  

This launch extends Greenlight’s earlier dabbling into B2B: It launched a partnership with JPMorgan Chase in 2020 to power the bank’s debit card for kids.  

Other banks are experimenting with the power of interactive education, too. For example, Truist acquired gamified finance app The Long Game last year, and TD Bank has a virtual stock market game and a resource hub for kids called the Wow! Zone


Top banks are making a $40 million bet on a tech platform that aims to revolutionize a $5 trillion, antiquated loan market. 

The who’s who of the banking world has teamed up to build a fintech that replaces the syndicated loan market’s spreadsheets, fax machines, and phone calls with a real-time and transparent new digital service. 

A handful of top banks are ready to say goodbye to the inefficient and fragmented process of syndicated loan dealmaking, where settlement times can average more than 20 days.  

Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, US Bancorp, and Wells Fargo just invested in and joined Versana, a digital data platform originally spearheaded by JPMorgan, Citi, Bank of America, and Credit Suisse last year.  

The project is an example of how traditional financial firms can team up to focus their collective energy, skills, and experience on building themselves a better solution – and preventing an independent fintech from disrupting the process instead. 

Versana centralizes corporate loan data, providing greater transparency and faster processing. Its new bank investors and clients mean Versana will now have more than 75% of US loan market deals on its platform. 

“With the global capital markets in a fairly volatile state at the moment, now is the time to ensure that agent banks, lenders, fund administrators, and trustees all have the needed transparency and digital tools to manage and drive the syndicated loan market forward,” says founding CEO Cynthia Sachs. 


New research: 70% of people want more personalization from their bank. 

Personalization is the key to people’s hearts: A new Bain report shows that people want their primary bank to use their data to tailor banking experiences – and that they’ll be more loyal customers if it happens. 

Highly personalized banking experiences win people over and stop them from churning to other financial providers, according to a new report from Bain, which surveyed 30,000 consumers.  

Nailing personalization is a multi-step, tech-infused process:  

Banks need to be able to understand and anticipate a customer’s needs, engage at the right time with the right content, and measure outcomes so that personalization can improve over time.  

For many banks, the biggest challenge is breaking through their own silos to scale the necessary capabilities and technology across their org, according to Bain partner Maureen Burns.  

“The best personalization utilizes all of a customer’s interactions across products so that at each touchpoint, the bank is providing the content or offer that the customer will most value,” she told Distilled.  “New capabilities, including generative AI for language and images, accelerate the possibilities and expectations. Traditional customer engagement has largely been based on single-campaign ROI’s with some loose processes to negotiate across different products. This transformation is the biggest challenge to banks providing personalization at scale.” 

As Distilled has covered before, banks are finding creative ways to use automation, artificial intelligence, and even quantum computing to personalize their offerings for clients. Bain’s study shows that getting those experiments right is crucial for customer loyalty.  

The report’s findings align with a proof-point from Bank of America, which just announced that over 10 million clients have used its personalized banking platform, Life Plan

Quick Bits:

Personnel news: JPMorgan’s platform for VCs and startups, Capital Connect, just hired Saurabh Singh, a veteran of both Goldman Sachs and Facebook. Also, Citi’s wealth business poached Andy Sieg from Merrill Lynch, while the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency tapped Prashant Bhardwaj to lead its new Office of Financial Technology

Money moves: Social impact fintech Spiral, founded by a former Morgan Stanley exec, raised a $28 million Series A, while Truist Ventures co-led the $10 million funding round of lending compliance firm Stratyfy.

Ripple effects: After SVB’s collapse, enterprises are looking critically at their risk management technology. Vanguard CIO Nitin Tandon said that FinServs’ risk and IT divisions need to come together: “Technology plays a key role in being able to analyze the data, come back with the risk profiles, and develop risk postures.”   

Upcoming event: Heading to RSA this year? Join Insight Partners and the cyber industry’s leading ScaleUps for an evening of great conversation and celebrity performances.  


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