NAB teams up with Bank Leumi and CIBC for online innovation portal

The three banks hope the partnership will spur collaboration between them and fintechs.


The National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced partnering with Israel's Bank Leumi and Canada-based CIBC to stand up an online portal to help drive collaboration between the three banks and the fintech scene.

According to NAB, the Global Alliance Fintech Link will help drive client-focused innovation.

Fintechs can submit "creative" tech solutions to opportunities the trio identify, via the portal. NAB said on receiving the proposals, the banks will consult directly with the technology firms.

The first problem the banks have identified is: "Our aim is to exceed our customers' expectations by helping their businesses grow and prosper".

"In big and complex banks like NAB, CIBC, and Bank Leumi, it can be a challenge for fintechs with good ideas to find the right path to the right people, where their concepts can be appropriately considered," NAB executive general manager of digital and innovation Jonathan Davey said.

"This new platform provides a simple and easy process for fintechs to help connect them into the bank where we can connect that idea to the right people who may be interested in what they have to offer and how we might be able to work together, no matter where they are based."

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The platform has been initially launched as a pilot and will develop as additional challenges are added to the site, the trio said.

Global Alliance Fintech Link is open to startups around the world and will operate in pilot mode as it "evolves".  

The partnership stems from Bank Leumi, CIBC, and NAB teaming up in September 2016.

At the time, Davey called the new cohort an international banking innovation alliance that would give the group the ability to co-develop products and services. He said the alliance would also give NAB access to first-class international innovation initiatives and insights.

NAB has its own arm dedicated to innovation in NAB Labs, which the bank has touted as helping it redefine the customer journey through the use of technology.

Similarly, it also has NAB Ventures, which is the bank's corporate venture capital fund that invests in startups that enable the bank to either execute what it does better or enter into adjacent areas that will drive value.

NAB in September sunk an additional AU$50 million over the next two years into NAB Ventures, taking the total to AU$100 million, with 100% of that purely to be spent on the startups.