Banks and Fintechs: cooperation models in Spain

More and more banks have seen FinTech as the fastest way to accelerate their digital transformation processes. Gone are the years when financial institutions thought the FinTech were the enemy to beat, ignoring fresh new ideas, new business models and new ways to get the best out of the current technology available.

Fortunately, this picture changed a couple of years ago and since then banks in Spain have used different methods for cooperating with Fintech: create, buy and partner. This trend will only accelerate in the coming months with the arrival of PSD2 in September 2019, when all European banks will have to allow authorized and regulated third parties to have access to customers’ banking data.

The arrival of the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) in financial services, especially in the area of payments, has alerted banks. The huge customer base, the massive use of data and the way it is monetized, as well as spectacular customer experiences have made banks realize what a turning point it would be if suddenly any of these companies were to merge customer data with their bank data. The biggest revolution in the history of financial services.

Banks have seen FinTech as their best ally to accelerate their digital transformation plans

In the upcoming months of 2019, banks in Spain will have to define their Open Banking strategy. A category specialist? A platform? A product provider? A digital advisor? Whichever strategy they choose they must collaborate with FinTech startups to fill out their own gaps.

Many banks have seen FinTech as their best ally to accelerate their digital transformation plans, become technology companies as many CEOs say, and grow by developing new digital ecosystems.

Below we have summarized all the current collaborations between Banks and FinTechs in Spain as of January 2019:

Partner is the most preferred collaboration model among banks in Spain. Almost all of them have partnered with at least one FinTech. Build is also one of their key strategies for the big banks, as all of them have created a “challenger bank” focused on digital-only customers. Buy has been a very unusual strategy for banks in Spain, at least to buy Spanish FinTech startups.

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