US community banks forge Alloy Labs Alliance
A group of 12 US community and regional banks have founded Alloy Labs Alliance, a consortium approach to innovation and technology adoption.
Fintech Forge will manage the alliance, and Crowe LLP, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm, will provide advice and services regarding regulatory and compliance matters.
“No bank wants to be the next Sears. To survive, every bank needs to innovate in order to drive down operating costs while ramping up the value we can deliver to the customer,” says Chris Nichols, chief strategy officer of CenterState Bank in Florida.
“Community banks play a special role in the lives of our customers,” adds Julie Thurlow, CEO of Massachusetts-based Reading Cooperative Bank, “but we don’t have the same IT and innovation budgets as the big banks to capitalise on that relationship.”
According to the gang, Alloy Labs is a platform for banks to identify shared areas of opportunity, and establish smaller workgroups to share best practices through implementation.
Working collaboratively, the banks aim to work with fintech start-ups to shape their solutions. Alloy Labs says it is currently working on both customer facing applications and back office efficiencies. No specifics on that at present.
In a nod to the slow brigade, Alloy Labs says banks that aren’t ready to begin adopting new technology can still join the alliance to learn from others in the group, share in ongoing research, and shape the direction of the consortium.
Founding members span the US, representing institutions ranging from $251 million to nearly $20 billion in assets.
Along with the two above, founders include Citizens & Northern Bank – Pennsylvania, Citizens Bank of Edmond – Oklahoma, Columbia Bank – Washington, First National Bank of Omaha – Nebraska, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company – Louisiana, Inland Bank – Illinois, Lincoln Savings Bank – Iowa, Mercantile Bank of Michigan – Michigan, nbkc Bank – Missouri, and QCR Holdings – Illinois.