BBVA Compass today announced an agreementthat opens its technology platform to payments innovator Dwolla, allowingcustomers of the bank to use the Iowa startup’s real-time network to make moneytransfers.
The deal makes BBVACompass the largest bank to partner with Dwolla, a nimble alternative to thecurrent payments networks that are decades old in some cases, far fromreal-time and more expensive to use. It also makes BBVA Compass the only majorbank to open its platform to such an extent to digital developers, its firstsuch move inspired by the open standards that pushed forward other industries.BBVA Compass sees the agreement as indispensable and timely given itstransformation to a digital bank amid rapidly changing consumer habits.
“We’ve set our minds on being thebest bank in this digital century, and we believe strongly that the best way toget there is to combine our in-house capabilities — our real-time core bankingplatform, for one — with startups whose very existence is designed to redefinethe financial services industry,” said BBVA Compass Chairman andCEO Manolo Sanchez. “Dwolla, and its real-time paymentinfrastructure, is leading the modernization of the payment process, and weexpect their technology to accelerate our own vision for banking in the digitalage.”
The partnership willallow for BBVA Compass account holders, in the first quarter of 2015, to makereal-time payments to each other in a way that’s safe and as fast, direct andtransparent as email. Dwolla’s proprietary architecture and tools allow anybusiness, organization or individual with a U.S. bank account to move money ata cost that cannot be matched by traditional networks (transactions morethan $10 cost a flat fee of 25 cents, while anything less isfree).
With all of thechanges occurring in today’s banking environment, it’s not surprising thatbanks and other financial institutions are keeping abreast of – and in somecases partnering with – new and innovative products from various technologyproviders in the payments space. Much of the attention is being placed oninnovations in account payments, transfers, and P2P solutions. Such collaboration is necessary, and willlikely increase, as FIs look to woo new customers and members.
Overview by Ed O’Brien, Director of Banking Channels Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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