Agora Services, the challenger bank technology platform for community banks and credit unions, today announced it has partnered with i2c Inc., a leading global provider of digital payment and open banking technology, to provide modern digital first issuing and processing.
Challenger banks are encroaching on community banks and credit unions by providing a digitally native user experience that meets the needs of today’s consumers. A new study from Cornerstone Advisors and StrategyCorps finds that the number of consumers who had a challenger bank as their primary account grew seven percent between January 2020 and December 2020. The largest banks have countered this by replicating the app strategy offered by challenger banks.
For community banks and credit unions, there is a need within the industry to deliver products that compete with challenger banks and large banks, but many have limited resources. To meet that need, Agora and i2c have partnered to create the first true challenger bank-like platform designed specifically for credit unions and community banks. This platform is a one stop shop for white labeled solutions including card issuance for debit, prepaid and credit cards in a digitally native environment.
Through this full suite of challenger banking services, community banks and credit unions can now leverage competitive technology without having to add to their employee head count, all at an affordable price point and accelerated time to market through a new offer opened to financial institutions called modular banking approach as described in a recent white paper written by Cornerstone Advisors.
“Community banks and credit unions need the flexibility of offering mobile-first services without sacrificing the attention paid to customer and member service,” said Arcady Lapiro, Founder and CEO of Agora Services. “Agora is the only provider bringing challenger bank products directly to smaller financial institutions without requiring a core overhaul. And, if community banks and credit unions want to remain relevant and attract the next generation of customers and members, they need to be able to offer the same cutting-edge offerings. We’re not bringing digital banking in a box but real challenger bank in a box with our cutting-edge modular banking platform.”
“We are excited to partner with Agora Services in order to enable flexible and seamless digital payment technology solutions for community banks and their ecosystems,” said Kevin Fox, Global Head of Sales for i2c. “Agora Services’ mission to expand platform banking capabilities to this segment is a terrific example of the innovation that’s possible through partnership, which in turn help both financial institutions and their consumers, alike.”
This partnership adds to Agora’s ability to provide a digital banking lab, complete with challenger bank-type services and innovative products, and it is the first of many upcoming collaborations aimed to comprehensively support community banks and credit unions.
With Agora’s most recent launch of their fully white label offerings for SMBs and teen banking, community banks and credit unions have the ability to offer a personalized banking experiences for two high-demand niches, and can create optimized tracks to fit multiple needs, all without core integration.