Innovation through fintech partnerships

How incumbent financial institutions and fintechs can forge successful partnerships

Partnerships between incumbent financial institutions and fintech start-ups are gaining traction as corporates move away from an ‘us versus them’ mentality towards a mindset of ‘we’re in this together’.

To better understand what might make such collaborations more successful we worked with Copenhagen FinTech to interview top management from the top 50 banks and insurance companies in Denmark. We also spoke to CEOs from fintech start-ups in Denmark to get perspectives from both sides.

Through our interviews, we gained insights into the attitudes and experiences around fintech collaborations, capability challenges and fintech strategies.

We realized that we didn’t have the capabilities to give millennials what they wanted.”
Large Danish Bank
We need to protect ourselves and our brand. The headline will be ‘corporate loses costumer data’, even if it’s the fintech who messes up.”
Large Danish Bank

Key findings

1. Buy, borrow or build

Take a strategic approach when acquiring the capabilities you need. Respondents in large organisations felt it was a challenge to assess the best way to gain the capabilities they want. It takes careful consideration to decide whether partnerships or internal development are best.

2. Onboard and educate each other to avoid cultural and capability gaps

Respect the differences between your own organisation and your partner’s.

Throughout the interviews, a pattern of nine capabilities reoccurred:

3. Create an end-to-end plan for collaboration

Don’t initiate partnerships for the sake of partnerships.

An explicit alignment of objectives for the collaboration should be a primary goal, along with a staged plan of how to get there.

Set the barrier for working together very low – incredibly low. The more tasks you, as a start-up, can solve for the corporate, do it!”

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