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BankLabs

How Credit Unions Can Create Successful Partnerships with Fintechs

By | Article, Fintech, News | No Comments

CUs and fintechs represent unique spaces, but they can pair together perfectly to provide the best services.

While fintechs are synonymous with innovation and modernism, credit unions are, and have always been, symbols of stability and tradition. In order for these two powerful payments players to work together, each needs to understand the other and use its strengths to form a valuable partnership.

Click here to go to Credit Union Times to login and read the full article.

 

A Roundtable Discussion: Housing Market Dynamics

By | Article, Fintech, News | No Comments

MBA Insights recently held a roundtable discussion with several industry executives for their perspectives on the housing market, mortgage technology and the future of real estate finance.

Participants included:

Matt Johner, President and Co-Founder of BankLabs, Little Rock, Ark. He is responsible for corporate strategy, branding and growth plans including the execution of all sales, marketing, business development and customer success activities, with the goal of reimagining banking products of the future through community-oriented technologies that create new fee income, attract deposits, expand loan opportunities and differentiate the financial institution from competitors.

View the full article here.

2018 HousingWire Tech100 Winner: BankLabs

By | Award

 

BankLabs is honored to be named to Housing Wire’s 2018 Tech 100 List for our construction loan automation product, Construct. This program recognizes the leading technology and software companies – from companies with a single offering to companies that may house ten or more different software platforms.

Our Construct, cloud-based service automates the construction loan management process for community banks. It is accessible from phones, tablets or computers, and eliminates the need for paper files and spreadsheets, increases bank productivity, mitigates the risk of overfunding projects and improves the experience for the builder, borrower and inspector. Using Construct, a builder is able to view available funds via computer or mobile device and submit a draw request. Notifications are then sent via text or email to the inspector, borrower and bank personnel.

View the full list of winners here.

Differentiate Yourself Within Competitive Construction Lending

By | Article

By Matt Johnner

As Featured in Progress In Lending.

Construction lending is a growing sector of the mortgage industry and one that has traditionally been dominated by big banks. Recently however, these big banks are taking a more conservative approach on construction loans, creating opportunities for smaller, community-focused banks to seize the steady flow of capital.

While big banks are choosing to limit exposure by focusing more on existing customers, other financial institutions can jump in to fill the void. Of course, this means that the competition between small and mid-level banks focused on construction lending is reaching an all-time high.

So, how can a financial institution differentiate itself in such a competitive market? The answer is by offering solutions that automate the entire construction loan process, making life easier for all parties involved.

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BankLabs Expands Operations in Arkansas

By | Press Release

BankLabs Expands Operations in Arkansas with Support from Arkansas Economic Development Commission

BankLabs, a national provider of innovative mobile technology products for financial institutions, today announced that it is creating up to 19 full-time professional FinTech positions at its operations in Little Rock and is seeking highly qualified employees.

“Our goal is to differentiate the financial institutions that are not happy with the status quo from those that are resistant to change,” said Matt Johnner, president and co-founder of BankLabs. “Our clients want new ways to do things that leverage their strengths. BankLabs Chairman and CEO Mike Montgomery, has a rich history as a leader with Arkansas-based Systematics and Alltel Information Services. We both look forward to the next wave of innovation that BankLabs can help create.”

BankLabs seeks to grow the Arkansas economy into one that is focused on hi-tech, high-paying jobs, he said, and is pleased with the support from the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) including tax credits and introductions to identify talented candidates.

“BankLabs is directly contributing to the resurgence of Arkansas as a FinTech leader,” said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston. “The company is not only helping banks, but also creating FinTech marketplace options that expand business opportunities for everyone in the industry and across the globe. We are hopeful that the state’s support will not only help BankLabs grow its Little Rock team, but also help to improve the state’s economy.”

BankLabs recently added +Pay to its product offerings, automating the payment stream to sub-contractors from banks, general contractors, builders, title companies or disbursing agents. +Pay integrates seamlessly with BankLabs’ Construct product, which automates the residential and commercial construction loan process for banks and non-bank lenders. Together, they make the world’s first cloud-based vertically integrated construction finance platform.

“The expansion of BankLabs is another example of Little Rock’s growing FinTech industry,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “With our large banking presence and the 3rd VC FinTech Accelerator Powered by FIS occurring this summer at the Tech Park, the growing cluster of FinTech companies in Little Rock is now stronger than ever.”

Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Cathy Tuggle said, “We are excited to have an innovative company like BankLabs decide to continue its growth in the capital city. The Little Rock Technology Park and Venture Center have helped create a start-up environment where companies like BankLabs can flourish. This project is another wonderful example of our community’s entrepreneurial investment already succeeding.”

BankLabs is currently looking to fill highly paid professional product development and customer success positions in Arkansas. To apply, visit www.banklabs.com.

About BankLabs

The mission of BankLabs is to reimagine banking products of the future through community-oriented technologies that create new fee income, attract deposits, expand loan opportunities and differentiate the financial institution from competitors. BankLabs believes that community banking is a way of doing business, not a size, location or traditional definition. For more information, visit www.banklabs.com.

Establishing a Successful Partnership Between a Financial Institution and a Fintech

By | Article

Establishing a Successful Partnership Between a Financial Institution and a Fintech

By Matt Johnner, president and co-founder of BankLabs 

As featured in William Mills Agency’s 2018 Bankers as Buyers Report.

Our society associates financial institutions with stability and trust, while fintechs typically epitomize change and innovation. These two opposing forces may seem to have very little in common, but that does not mean they can’t successfully work together to achieve a common goal.

According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) 2017 Global Fintech Report, over 80 percent of financial institutions believe business is at risk to innovators. That may be true if the innovator is attempting to stand alone or replace financial institutions altogether. However, by partnering with a financial institution, innovators can work with a bank or credit union to solve an issue or meet a need.

Additionally, PwC reports that 82 percent of financial institutions expect to increase partnerships with fintechs in the next three to five years. This shows that financial institutions are willing to explore the innovative world of financial technology in order to provide better service to their customers, or scale a product outside of their traditional market.

 

Benefits of Partnerships between Financial Institutions and Fintechs

By partnering with a fintech provider, financial institutions improve upon the things they are already doing well. Technology can be used to solve an issue, update an existing process or enhance customer interactions. Fintechs have a lot to offer financial institutions, such as advanced, forward-looking technology and a fresh, outside perspective.

Of course, the partnership is just as beneficial to the fintech provider. Fintechs may hope to disrupt the industry by creating an unparalleled user experience, but solely focusing on this is not enough to be successful. A fintech provider without a financial institution to serve often ends up biting off more than they can chew.

With the implementation of a fintech service, financial institutions can differentiate themselves from other lenders in the space. By automating services and providing consumers with an innovative and efficient tool to make their lives easier, the financial institution becomes more competitive while also broadening their market. And, customers receiving a positive user experience from their bank or credit union will likely choose to stay with that bank or credit union.

A successful fintech partnership can also provide an additional revenue stream for the financial institution. Some fintechs can offer financial institutions modern, user-centric services that fulfill consumers’ needs while simultaneously charging a small fee on transactions that goes straight back to the financial institution. Think about how many paper checks still exist in unique industries or processes.

 

Tips to Create a Successful Partnership

Let’s start with an unsuccessful partnership; this is one that is created with the purpose of looking for a problem rather than solving one. A successful partnership begins when a fintech and a financial institution see a solution to an existing problem and need each other’s help in bringing that solution to life.

A smart fintech understands that a financial institution’s brand is extremely important to its success and cannot be jeopardized. Fintechs must approach potential partnerships with a thoughtful, conservative mindset. A failed fintech reflects poorly on the financial institution and its brand.

An equally important factor in a successful partnership is the financial institution ensuring its fintech provider has a strong background in banking. While fintechs offer unique, outside perspectives, they should also understand the fundamentals and the complexities of banking. The best fintechs have established bankers as part of their team or board of directors who understand the banking industry and the sanctity of its brand, needs and technology.

In addition, fintechs should leverage the financial institution’s existing products if speed to market and velocity is important. The solution must seamlessly integrate into the existing landscape and utilize the financial institution’s pre-existing product or distribution to solve a problem.

Lastly, open communication between the financial institution and fintech provider is key. The two should take part in an open discussion at the beginning of the partnership to determine goals and expectations. As previously mentioned, each party has a very different way of thinking, so it is imperative to discuss the definition of success early in the relationship.

It is important to remember that fintechs and financial institutions should not be competing with each other; they should be supporting each other. The best partnership is one in which both the parties achieve a goal that helps improve processes, reduce costs and enhance the user experience.

Matt Johnner is president and co-founder of BankLabs, a national provider of innovative, mobile technology products that help community banks improve efficiency, increase time for relationships with customers and create marketplace options that expand business opportunities. BankLabs believes that community banking is a way of doing business, not a size. For more information, visit www.banklabs.com.

American Banker: As construction lending rebounds, tech investment follows

By | Article

American-Banker-bank-labs-construction-lendingAs featured in American Banker.

As construction lending starts to make a comeback, many community banks relying on lending to developers and builders are looking to use cutting-edge digital interfaces to help them attract more clients.

“It’s important for us to create convenience not only for our clients but for their clients as well [such as subcontractors] and give them quicker and more convenient access to funds,” said David Veurink, chief credit officer and head of commercial banking at Chicago-based Countryside Bank.

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BankLabs Unveils +Pay to Automate Construction Payment Streams

By | Press Release

BankLabs, a national provider of innovative mobile technology products for community banks, today announced the addition of +Pay to its product offerings. +Pay integrates with Construct, the company’s construction loan automation product, to automate the payment stream between builders and sub-contractors. It speeds the payment process and eliminates the need for paper with electronic lien waivers and invoices, as well as automated 1099 tax reporting. 

With new payment options including Same Day ACH, +Pay enables sub-contractors to be paid efficiently and, in turn, efficiently pay their employees. This mobile and web-based service increases transparency in the payment stream process, which greatly reduces unnecessary friction between builders and subcontractors.

“Our software for cutting checks and making payouts was outdated, and we needed a product that could interface with our core system,” said David Veurink, chief credit officer and head of commercial banking at Countryside Bank. “+Pay does just that, and the team at BankLabs has been extremely responsive and customer-oriented in their approach.”

“Countryside Bank was our first customer on +Pay last year,” said Matt Johnner, president and co-founder of BankLabs. “They have been very helpful in working out any kinks and we are thrilled that they are seeing process improvements with our technology.”

Banks can leverage +Pay to increase both fee income and attract deposits. The two initial financial institutions using +Pay have already processed more than $126 million in construction payments combined, and more banks are already under contract.  In addition to financial institutions, builders and sub-contractors can also use +Pay.

About BankLabs

The mission of BankLabs is to reimagine banking through community-oriented technologies that create new fee income, attract deposits, expand loan opportunities and differentiate the financial institution from competitors. BankLabs believes that community banking is a way of doing business, not a size or location. For more information, visit www.banklabs.com.

Media Contact

For BankLabs
Catherine Mootz, 678-781-7227
cmootz@williammills.com

Construction Executive: Automate The Entire Construction Loan Process

By | Article

In today’s digital world, instant gratification is not only desired but expected. People expect to click a button and be able to pay bills online, schedule an appointment and receive texts to refill a prescription. Our patience has declined, and with it has come a pressing need for automation in all aspects of our lives.

One sector that has been slow to catch on to the automation obsession is the construction industry, particularly construction lending. For too long, builders and contractors were using computer spreadsheets, creating draw sheets by hand and emailing confidential documents to inspectors. Needless to say, this needed to change and the industry is finally using technology that automates these processes.  

AUTOMATING CONSTRUCTION LENDING

Commercial developers, general contractors and residential home builders have started working with lenders who use innovative technology to automate the post-closing administration of construction loans. Accessible from any phone, tablet or computer, this technology eliminates the need for paper files and spreadsheets, lets the developer check on the status from any device and improves the experience for the developer, lender and borrower. People are making better business decisions enabled by real-time text messages showing draw availability and areas of risk.

The best solutions reduce loan administration time by 50 percent or more, lower inspection costs, identify and mitigate potential risks and enhance working relationships through mobile access.

This part of the construction industry has come a long way, but what about the other side of the construction loan process? While lenders and developers are being offered innovative technology to help automate their business, contractors are still working in the dark ages.

HOLISTIC AUTOMATION

For instance, builders continue to pay their subcontractors via paper checks, after collecting paper invoices and paper lien waivers. The subcontractor must then drive to pick up the check, deposit it and wait days for funds availability. In addition, builders are completing 1099 tax forms and other reporting material by hand, which can be difficult and time-consuming.

For these reasons, construction developers, builders and contractors must partner with lenders who are not only using technology to automate the post-close administration of loans, but those who understand that the entire payment process must be automated to be most effective.

Desirable lenders are typically community banks that have implemented new technology to complement the automation tools they are currently using. The new solution is ideally a mobile and web-based service that automates the construction payment stream with electronic submittal of lien waivers and invoices from subcontractors to the builder. This is coupled with electronic payments using same-day ACH that replace checks, much like online bill pay that has made our personal lives easier.

In short, payments are made faster and more reliably. Builders are able to pay their subcontractors instantly, enabling them to focus on building and saving the subcontractors significant amounts of time and frustration. With a more efficient payment process, everyone can concentrate on what they have been hired to do.

Implementing this technology also increases transparency in the payment stream process and reduces unnecessary friction between builders and subcontractors. With mobile access, it is easy to log into the system while on the construction site to check for any errors and assess the status of projects. Subcontractors have all of their payment questions answered by checking their phone, which eases the burden of manual interactions with the builder.

Also, it is safe to say that the best contractors look to work with the best developers, and the best developers try to seek out the best lenders.

Using technology to automate the post-close administration of construction loans is important, but now is the time to take automation a step further. By working with lenders who are also using an automated payment stream tool, construction professionals can speed cycle times and payments, improve communication and focus on their important work at hand.

Written by Matt Johnner – President and Co-founder, BankLabs

BankLabs is a national provider of innovative mobile technology products that help community banks improve efficiency, differentiate with customers, create new fee income, increase deposits and create marketplace options that expand business opportunities. BankLabs believes that community banking is a way of doing business, not a size.

 

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BankLabs Chooses William Mills Agency for Public Relations Services

By | Press Release

William Mills Agency, the largest independent public relations and content marketing firm specializing in the financial industry, announced today that it will provide PR services to BankLabs. BankLabs is a national provider of innovative mobile technology products helping community banks improve efficiency, increase time for relationships with customers and create marketplace options that expand business opportunities.

With offices in both Dallas and Little Rock, Ark., BankLabs has bank customers in 28 states and two countries, as well as development consortiums to facilitate development with bank partners. BankLabs’ CEO and Co-Founder Mike Montgomery uses 40 years of banking experience to cultivate innovative banking technology products.

BankLabs’ latest product, Construct®, is a web-based product that automates the construction loan management process for community banks. It’s paperless, accessible from any mobile device or computer, drives productivity and modernizes the experience for all parties involved.

The company also offers OREO (Other Real Estate Owned) Automation®, enabling community banks to quickly sell OREO properties by automating and tracking property details, inspection history, appraisals and payments. These transactions are secure, fully automated and provide examiners with an easily reviewable, paperless audit trail.

“WMA’s public relations strategy will support BankLabs in solidifying our position as a leader in providing community bankers with the tools they need to compete in today’s market,” said Matt Johnner, president and co-founder of BankLabs. “With our deep understanding of community banking and the agency’s overall industry knowledge and relationships, we’re enthusiastic about working with them to promote our mission.”

“William Mills Agency has built our reputation by helping our clients improve brand awareness and establish themselves as industry thought leaders through strategic, balanced public relations programs,” said William Mills III, CEO of William Mills Agency. “It’s a privilege to be selected as BankLabs’ agency of record (AOR), and we look forward to helping them communicate to community banks that can benefit from their services.”

About BankLabs
BankLabs was created by community bankers, for community bankers. The company designs innovative mobile technology products that help community banks improve efficiency, increase time for relationships and create fintech marketplace options that expand business opportunities outside their traditional local market. BankLabs couples the fundamental banking experience with modern, mobile-first, banker-first approaches to product design. The company is committed to the pursuit of creating web-based mobile apps to deliver competitive advantages to community banks. For more information, please visit www.banklabs.com.

About William Mills Agency
Founded in 1977, the Atlanta-based company has established its reputation in the industry through successful execution of media relations, marketing services and crisis communication campaigns for hundreds of companies ranging in size from entrepreneurial start-ups to large, publicly traded corporations throughout North America, Europe, Africa and India. For more information, please visit www.williammills.com.