Chris Dean
CEO & Co-founder

Recently, there has been significant discussion around the viability and safety of bank sponsorships, particularly in the wake of regulatory actions, including consent orders issued to a number of regional and community banks partnering with technology companies. Despite these concerns, fintech partnerships are not only safe but also beneficial for banks — provided they adhere to rigorous standards and best practices.

The foundation of a successful bank sponsorship lies in robust program governance. This includes proper oversight and controls, which ensure that both banks and their fintech partners operate within a secure and compliant framework. By doing so, banks can ensure accuracy in financial records and promptly address any discrepancies. This is crucial for maintaining trust and reliability in the financial ecosystem.

Establishing Trust and Transparency
Bank and fintech partnerships are beholden to evolving regulatory oversight and governance. Federal bank agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency set forth guidelines and standards to ensure these partnerships are conducted safely and responsibly. Compliance with these regulations is not only a legal obligation but also a critical factor in maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of the financial system.

Technological advancements have bolstered the efficacy of bank sponsorships, decreasing risk and enhancing trust on both sides. Automated transaction monitoring and regulatory risk assessment tools, artificial intelligence for predictive analytics and advanced cybersecurity measures have become integral in maintaining oversight and compliance. These technologies not only enhance the security of partnerships but also streamline operations, making them more efficient and reliable.

Three Keys to Successful Collaborations

Successful sponsorships hinge on a mix of the right technology, proactive planning and robust oversight. This includes:

1. Comprehensive data management: Banks must preserve comprehensive customer data for contingency planning and deposit insurance purposes. This preparedness is key to navigating potential disruptions smoothly, ensuring that customers’ funds and interests are safeguarded. In an era where data breaches and cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the ability to safely and efficiently preserve customer information is indispensable.

2. Continuous evaluation and improvement: Banks also need to plan, monitor and test. It’s important to have proactive processes in place to reconcile or a third-party service provider fails. This involves detailed planning for various scenarios like system outages and cyberattacks. By having a well-documented and tested contingency plan, banks can respond promptly and effectively to unexpected challenges. Continuous vigilance and assessments are essential to adapt to evolving risks and regulatory requirements.

3. Strong governance: Data access and transparency also play a critical role in creating an effective sponsorship. One key aspect is maintaining access to all ledgers and implementing robust reconciliation processes. Shared access and oversight allow all stakeholders to play a role in detecting and addressing issues in real time, minimizing the potential for financial loss or reputational damage. Data transparency also ensures that the value of sponsorship is clearly communicated and understood, making the evaluation and optimization of plans and processes an objective, results-driven pursuit. Clear and constant communication between a bank and its technology partner is also critically important to facilitating oversight and governance.

The future of bank sponsorships appears promising, with opportunities for innovation and growth. However, they can only realize this potential through a steadfast commitment to excellence in governance and risk management. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, banks must remain proactive in addressing new challenges and leveraging emerging technologies.

A robust framework allows bank sponsorships to thrive, driving innovation and expanding the ability to provide financial services. The key is not to shy away from these partnerships but to embrace them with a commitment to excellence and meticulous attention to risk management. By leveraging strong governance, comprehensive data management and continuous evaluation and improvement, banks can forge successful and secure sponsorships that enhance their service offerings and strengthen their position in the market.


Chris Dean

CEO & Co-founder

As CEO and Co-Founder of Treasury Prime, Chris is responsible for all aspects of Treasury Prime’s strategy, execution, and operations. Prior to launching Treasury Prime, he served as CTO of “API first” company Standard Treasury. When the startup was acquired by Silicon Valley Bank, he took on the role of CTO of API banking for SVB. Earlier in his career, Chris founded or co-founded software companies including Merced Systems (enterprise software), Kyluka (a consulting firm), and Benefitter (ACA-based health plan.) Chris started his career as technical staff in the Machine Learning Systems Group of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He studied physics at California Institute of Technology.