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Payments on Fire

Episode 71 – The Tech Bringing B2B Fintech to the Mid-tier Bank – Lisa Shields, FI.SPAN

Mid-market financial institutions have enormously strong relationships with their banking customers. But their size makes home grown IT difficult because it is simply too hard, and too costly, to meet all the B2B finance needs of their enterprise customers.

The answer, of course, is deeper integration to third party software systems like SAP, Oracle, JDA and the growing set of fintech providers bringing point solutions to these institutions.

But that’s no simple task. These FIs often run on legacy systems, generally provided by a large bank processor. Integrating software built before the cloud and APIs and these modern point applications is not easy.

Into that gap is a new company called FI.SPAN. Led by founder and CEO Lisa Shields, the company value proposition is to act as an API orchestration platform for banks. In other words, FI.SPAN proposes to be the glue that connects legacy code or a processor’s banking platform to the growing base of fintech point solutions in the market.

The goal of becoming a one-stop shop for new tools for these B2B-focused banks will take time and focus. Connecting up nextgen software and data to older systems demands clever approaches and a lot of spade work. Maintenance of a growing set of evolving API interfaces is non-trivial, too.

A fintech startup serving fintech startups, incumbent bank processors, and mid-tier banks has a lot of work to do. Lisa is no stranger to the start-up world; she also founded Hyperwallet. Take a listen to this conversation about the technical challenges, the business model, and the goals Lisa has for her customers and for her company.