Why One Bank Is Embracing Disruption in Financial Services

Written by Bruce Wallace |Chief Operating Officer, Silicon Valley Bank Advisory Board Member, FinTech Sandbox.

There is a tremendous level of innovation happening in financial services and Silicon Valley Bank is proud to be a lead sponsor of FinTech Sandbox. We are aligned in our mission to encourage promising entrepreneurs and help innovators in financial technology succeed.

FinTech Sandbox is a great example of a community of entrepreneurs coming together to help each other develop and grow their companies. In this case, FinTech Sandbox, driven by the creativity of a few Boston innovators, identified a huge hurdle — the high cost of purchasing data to build and test their apps and platform services.

Maybe surprising to some, they have recruited major business partners that are offering data and support services — free of charge. In addition to SVB, the partners include Thomson Reuters, Amazon Web Services, Fidelity Investments, and others with rich data and expertise to offer young, growing seedlings. Now entrepreneurs will get access to a broad range of real data to use to develop, test and refine new products and services. The goal is to speed up innovation and get the most promising products to market faster.

Why is Silicon Valley Bank involved? For more than 30 years, we have been a financial institution that banks on innovation. We serve clients and engage partners who are focused on disrupting industries for the benefit of consumers and businesses. The entire financial services ecosystem will benefit from the most innovative solutions that make commerce easier, faster and more secure.

As an example, we are seeing exciting innovation in marketplace lending like never before, as technology removes a lot of the friction in transactional financial services. There is also huge untapped potential in mobile commerce, as mobile payments are integral to a seamless consumer experience. We’re working with companies in these areas including LendingClub, which had a very successful IPO in December, and a leader in the payments space, Square.

Simply put, SVB is not a bank that sits on the sidelines; our goal is to help innovation-minded companies succeed by providing experiences, tools and services to enhance their business. FinTech Sandbox is a terrific opportunity to do just that.

Demonstrating the sponsors’ commitment to the success of FinTech Sandbox, we are asking participants to share what they learn, give feedback to sponsors and contribute non-proprietary code and tools to the community, rather than contributing equity. SVB thanks all of the participants for helping shape the future of financial services and we look forward to seeing the results.

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