Announcing the 2021 Best of FinXTech Awards

Ten years ago, the development of disruptive financial technology companies foretold the death of community banks. Years later, nothing could be further from the truth.

We still see companies such as PayPal Holdings, Stripe and Chime — as well as Walmart, Walgreens Co. and Google (now a subsidiary of Alphabet) — launch financial technology solutions. PayPal has expanded past its original payments mission to offer loans; Walgreens plans to open bank accounts linked to Mastercard and MetaBank, a subsidiary of Meta Financial Group.

Against so many challengers, we see countless examples of bank executives and members of the board charting new paths with the help and support of what I would call friendly fintechs. Bank Director annually judges the best of the best, using an already thoroughly vetted information resource on bank-friendly fintechs called FinXTech Connect.

The annual Best of FinXTech Awards recognize fintechs that partner with banks and credit unions — technology providers that best help a financial institution grow revenues, create efficiencies or reduce risk.

The awards reflect the business needs identified in our FinXTech Connect platform — lending, customer experience, operations, compliance and risk, and more. The 2021 Best of FinXTech Awards also reward the “Best of Connect” — the best overall among the category winners. This year, that overall winner was digital banking platform provider Narmi, whose account opening process takes an average of 2 minutes and 13 seconds while reducing fraudulent accounts. Winners of the categories were Teslar Software, for lending; Hummingbird, for compliance and risk; DeepTarget, for operations; and Narmi, for customer experience.

We placed a strong value on results throughout the process. To select the category finalists, our team interviewed bank and credit union customers to verify outcomes. To determine the winners, we submitted the finalists to our panel of judges: a group of bankers, a venture capitalist, technology consultants and other providers who are leaders in their fields. For more on our methodology, click here.

Our thanks to this distinguished panel: Kara Baldwin, Crowe LLP; Karen Garrett, Stinson LLP; Scott Hiemstra, CDW; David Koscheski, Microsoft Corp.; David Mansfield, Provident Bancorp; Scott Mills, William Mills Agency; David Ness, U.S. Bank; Chris Nichols, SouthState Bank; Daniel Schutte, The Venture Center; Ron Shevlin, Cornerstone Advisors; Frank Sorrentino III, ConnectOne Bancorp; Eric Sprink, Coastal Financial Corp.; Jeff Starke, Bank OZK; John Symcox, First Fidelity Bank; Chris Tremont, LendingClub Bank; and Kevin Tweddle, Independent Community Bankers of America.

With so many banking teams considering their growth options, the Best of FinXTech Awards show who strategically partners with financial institutions to drive business performance.