Today we have another special episode — we’re still talking about bank – fintech partnerships by studying some of the best, most impactful ones out there. We have JP Morgan’s Jason Tiede and FISPAN’s Lisa Shields on the show to talk about their partnership that essentially embeds JP Morgan’s payments and treasury functionality into its clients’ ERP environment. This partnership won Tearsheet’s Bank/Fintech Partnership Award for Ecosystems.
We discuss how the two parties met and why JPM chose to partner with FISPAN. We discuss best practices in standing up a good working relationship with two different companies and cultures.
Origins of the partnership
Jason Tiede, JP Morgan: Broadly speaking, we spend a lot of time with our clients sharing our perspectives on where we see the payments/transaction banking business going. We also listen to our clients — treasury and finance professionals — to hear where they see their businesses and groups going.
On the other side, we spend a good deal of time with the venture capital and fintech communities to find early stage companies developing novel products and services to meet those new client demands.
For this opportunity, the exposed nerve — the client need or problem statement — was ‘I’m a CFO or treasurer of a fast growing tech company. I use one of the cloud ERP systems for my daily jobs. As our business is growing, we would like to use JP Morgan’s global payments and receivables capabilities, but we don’t have a ton of resources on the client-side to do a more traditional implementation. Can you embed all of what JP Morgan offers within my ecosystem without me having to embark on a large IT project? Can I download JP Morgan into my environment?’
Lisa Shields, FISPAN: The truth of the matter is that when we started working with JP Morgan and Jason’s group, we didn’t think our first client was going to be the largest global bank. We did the things you’d expect to do. We had a high degree of attention and fidelity to things like infosec and operational designations that make it possible for an institution with the stature of JPMorgan Chase to work with us.
Quite frankly, I’m sure there were raised eyebrows on their side when we first started. Given that they were looking to work with earlier stage companies, we took a walk-first approach for both sides, so we can grow into the ultimate client servicing and scale out issues — not from the beginning, but as the relationship evolved.
Surprisingly, we didn’t have issues given the different sizes and cultures of our organizations. Expectations were really clear. Where an institution actually has an innovation group that has good working relationships with the business lines, the cultural expectations around walking us through and setting our expectations on the vendor onboarding process — what it means to go from POC to pilot with live customers and transactions — that wasn’t a shocker for us.
Jason Tiede, JP Morgan: Lisa hit the nail on the head with the term ‘cultural fit’. There was serendipity involved in our meeting as Lisa was ramping up her team and I was ramping up mine. We met at Finovate and hit it off in terms of understanding this market opportunity. Our teams went on the road together. That fact of wanting to go on a journey together — both physically and from a business perspective — was pretty clear from the beginning. It was nice working from a fresh board on both sides.
Jason Tiede, JP Morgan: The ultimate arbitrator in our model is our client. One of the philosophical questions we tried to answer in the beginning was whether you could apply the design thinking approach to products on the corporate or wholesale banking side. We know you can with retail banking.
We decided to do something wild. Build a prototype and just go out on the road and meet clients and show them what we had. I would say we got about 70 percent right in our prototype. In every meeting with a client, there was this 30 percent piece that we wouldn’t have figured out within our four walls. That became the secret sauce.
Focus on value
Lisa Shields, FISPAN: We’re really concentrating on ERP and accounting integrations and broadening the number of platforms, businesses, and back office/banking services to be integrated with it. We’re really focused on embedded banking or contextual banking service delivery. That’s where we see the relationship really moving forward.
We couldn’t believe that JP Morgan allowed us in the room with clients. We would take our seat at the table as the demo dollies and it was an honored position for an engineer to come along and just listen to what the customers were saying. Pretty much after every client engagement, there would be a turn of the build the next week. That built the most excitement on our side and internally with the JP Morgan folks — they got a kick out of it because they got a chance to see products evolving in a way that they might not have been used to.
Jason Tiede, JP Morgan: In terms of scope and scale, we have over 40 of our technology clients on the platform with about 50-60 more in the sandbox. We’re seeing this drive significant revenues, liquidity and client balance deposits. Within the first year, we’re looking at billions of dollars flowing through it. By all metrics, we’re thrilled with the client receptivity and performance.