Fintech’s best value: Fresh ideas

Credit unions shouldn’t approach startup providers as they do traditional vendors.

CU leaders who approach fintechs like they approach traditional vendors are missing the point, says Nikhil Lakhanpal, co-founder of the fintech Narmi. Vision matters more than price, and potential counts more than immediate results, he claims.

“A provider that will continue to innovate for you in month 49 is better than a provider that will cut your costs 5 percent in month one,” he says. “People pay us for our software, our expertise and our service delivery, but they also pay us to keep them on the cutting edge. You won’t find ‘fresh ideas’ in the contract, but it’s an important part of the value proposition.”

Extensive due diligence can be undue diligence, Lakhanpal argues. “We’ll show prospects our financial data. We have plenty of capital and a long runway. But that shouldn’t hold things up. If a credit union is looking for the security of an established provider, they’re probably too cautious to get the most value from working with us.”


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