Announcing the winners of The Big Bank Theory Awards 2023

  • Tearsheet's TBBT Awards celebrate the top companies and products in banking and embedded finance.
  • This year's winners include firms like Evolve Bank & Trust, Upgrade, Marqeta, and BMTX.

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Announcing the winners of The Big Bank Theory Awards 2023

The Big Bank Theory Awards by Tearsheet are a premier awards program recognizing and celebrating innovation in finance and banking. 

With this awards program, Tearsheet brings together industry leaders, innovative startups, and key incumbent players in the field to acknowledge the companies shaping the future of banking and embedded finance.

We're pleased to announce the winners of this year's TBBT Awards:

Most Innovative Bank: Evolve Bank & Trust

Dynamic and adaptable bank partner, Evolve serves hundreds of fintech partners. Through in-house development, the firm continues to refine and grow its tech stack to enable financial innovation. Through technology, Evolve supports notable programs like Dave, Step, Mercury, and more.

This year Evolve has enabled several customers to offer increased FDIC coverage through a custom-built sweep network, and will offer Real-Time Payments in the near future.

Best Card Issuing Platform: Deserve

Deserve is a mobile-first, API-driven modern credit card platform that gives cardholders a superior personalized experience. Deserve’s platform has digitally transformed credit cards from a piece of plastic to a software program for payments, rewards, and lending.

In 2023, Deserve launched two new consumer credit card programs that seamlessly integrate with the companies’ mobile apps - the Rocket Visa Signature Card and the AMC Entertainment Visa Card.

Best New Product: Jiko

Jiko, through its national bank and FINRA-registered broker-dealer, offers real-time programmatic access to US Treasury bills. Jiko operates a de-levered deposit model that allows customers of all sizes to invest in the safety and yield of T-bills without keeping any cash on the bank’s balance sheet.

Amid bank failures and economic uncertainty, it’s critical that customer cash is safe while delivering returns. Jiko’s flagship product, Jiko Pockets, enables on-demand liquidity and investment in multiple maturities. Pockets can be accessed directly through Jiko’s platform or embedded through API integration. Jiko built the Pockets product to fulfill a need for simple, low-cost access to T-bills.

Partner Bank of the Year: Evolve Bank & Trust

Evolve demonstrates leadership and commitment as a bank partner to many world-class fintechs. Through the uncertainty in the market, Evolve has shown stability, resiliency, and confidence amid turbulent times.

Evolve promotes innovation within the fintech ecosystem. The firm's focus on compliance while still delivering a best-in-class customer experience has earned it national recognition and rank in lists like the Nacha Top Originators list. The bank's product suite continues to grow, offering flexibility to financial innovators.

Best Banking Card Product: Upgrade

Upgrade OneCard is the only card that can be used as both a credit and debit card, therefore simplifying users’ life and letting them earn credit card-like rewards on both credit and debit purchases.

OneCard lets users select “pay now” to debit everyday expenses directly from their bank account, and “pay later” to spread payments of larger purchases over several months or years. Upgrade OneCard simplifies users’ life by replacing two cards with one, and lets them earn 2%-3% cash back rewards on all expenses, including those “pay now” expenses debited directly from your bank account.

Serving the Underserved Award: MPOWER Financing

MPOWER Financing has a positive social impact by providing innovative lending options to international and DACA students, leveling the playing field in education, promoting gender equality and addressing market gaps – all while promoting the economic growth and societal development of the US, Canada and other countries through the contributions of its students.

91% of surveyed students credit MPOWER loans as crucial for studying abroad. A unique credit model and measurable results – such as increased access to education for students from 150+ countries, empowering women and economic contributions – demonstrate the company’s impact.

Best Banking as a Service Platform: BM Technologies (BMTX)

BM Technologies’ embedded BaaS platform can deliver white label, hybrid, embedded, or API enablement, and goes beyond just tech to offer full support in the form of Business Process Operations functions like program management, compliance, and anti-fraud capabilities.

BMTX’s proprietary BaaS platform and interface help fintechs and brands launch fully branded financial services products easily and at scale, at a fraction of the cost. BMTX has transformed monolithic systems into a flexible platform to adopt a microservice-first integration model with its clients and partners. Today, BMTX is in the market with an industry-leading platform that can be a standalone app but can also present an API, or if needed, ingest API traffic from clients and partners.

Best Banking Service Partner: Amdocs

Amdocs’ Product & Pricing Catalog provides the banking industry with the next generation of personalization. With Amdocs, banks can create, launch and refine tailored bundles, promotions, rewards & limited-time offers, aligned with individual customer preferences.

With minimal IT support, banks can streamline product creation across various lines of business. Amdocs empowers banks to transform standardized products into highly personalized experiences at speed. Banks gain flexibility and speed -- one EMEA client experienced a 200% increase in release cadence. Amdocs expands banks' opportunity to build successful marketplaces and drives open banking/BaaS revenue by
combining 3rd party services with traditional banking products.

Best Overall Embedded Finance Platform: Marqeta

Marqeta’s modern card issuing platform gives businesses and their developers the tools they need to embed payments into their offerings with minimal friction. Marqeta has been at the forefront of digital payments, allowing brands, fintechs and financial institutions to build and customizable, secure payment card solutions on its open API platform.

Since its founding in 2010, Marqeta has continued to expand its platform capabilities, and its ability to power embedded finance solutions for any type of company. The first examples included on-demand delivery customers, including DoorDash, Instacart and Uber Eats, where drivers swipe Marqeta-powered cards when ordering, and the card is funded for the exact amount of the order when it’s approved. In the last year, Marqeta’s continued to play a central role in the embedded finance trend.

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