As banking evolves digitally, the line is blurring between challenger banks and incumbents. Customers have never had such an array of options – they are the true winners of the new focus and products targeting them.
Tearsheet's Challenger Awards are the financial industry's top awards program, recognizing and celebrating the companies and professionals forging ahead with new services and products to help customers save, move, and borrow money in the modern era.
The 2022 Challenger Awards winners were named last week at Tearsheet's annual The Big Bank Theory Conference.
Best Rewards Program: Bank of America
Bank of America's Preferred Rewards provides 10 million members with valuable rewards and benefits across their deposit accounts, investments, credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans, in addition to exclusive discounts, cash-back deals and personalized experiences.
Best New Product: Marqeta
In October 2022, Marqeta announced a major expansion of its modern card issuing platform with Marqeta for Banking, a portfolio of seven banking and money movement products. Businesses can utilize more than 40 new banking APIs and create customized banking services with the same level of flexibility and control provided by Marqeta’s card issuing solutions.
Best Banking Card Product: Greenlight
Parents are spending more and saving less than years prior while costs continue to rise. Greenlight designed the Family Cash Card to reward parents on every dollar they spend today with high cash back, and then allow them to multiply their money with investing for the future.
Best Banking Service Partner: Narmi
Narmi helps financial institutions like Berkshire Bank and Grasshopper offer modern consumer and business digital banking experiences. Narmi claims its customers see results like 3x account growth in less than 30 days and 4x deposit growth in 90 days.
Serving the Underserved Award: Oportun
Most Americans would struggle with an unplanned expense of $1,000, while Oportun members – many on modest incomes, have an average of $3,000 set aside for rainy days. Oportun also helped more than 1 million people without a FICO score establish a credit history for the first time.
Best Banking App: Novo
The Novo app delivers a great checking account experience and offers tools and integrations that help small businesses improve their cash flow. Over the last year, Novo launched three significant cash flow-related additions in its app: The Novo App Marketplace, Boost, and Express ACH.
Most Innovative Bank: Climate First Bank
Climate First Bank is the first values-based FDIC bank founded to fight the climate crisis. It offers innovative sustainable loan programs, eco-friendly investing, and green banking experts. Climate First won’t fund environmentally harmful loans.
Partner Bank of the Year: Evolve Bank and Trust
Evolve has demonstrated commitment and leadership as a bank partner to many top fintechs. Evolve offers flexibility to financial innovators with a product suite ranging from transaction methods to account structures.
Payments Executive of the Year: Synctera’s Meredith Ross
With 18 years of experience in the field, Meredith Ross' work at Synctera powers fintechs to establish payment and transaction systems that are supported by digital wallets and physical cards. Meredith also supports additional services like external account verification, credit lines, wires, and ACH transfers.
Top Banking Executive Under 40: Pagaya’s Gal Krubiner
Gal Krubiner (34), CEO of Pagaya, recognized the limitations of legacy underwriting systems
and saw an opportunity to revolutionize risk assessment through the use of big data. Together with his co-founders, he created Pagaya, a technology-first company based on the core belief that research and development empowers better decisions.