Urban FT: Paving the Path to a Digital Future

The Quintessential Technology Source for Corporate Financial Professionals

Urban FT: Paving the Path to a Digital Future

CIO VendorRichard Steggall, Director and CEO
According to Richard Steggall, Director and CEO of Urban FT, the banking industry today is in a state of flux, and “it is easy to get lost in the stream of banking technology and FinTech developments,” Despite the fact that the banking industry has witnessed tremendous transformations over the years, smaller financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, remain largely neglected by service providers.

“It’s true for any financial institution under $2 billion in assets, and especially those hovering around the $1 billion in asset size,” says Steggall. Such negligence erodes their ability to compete with larger financial institutions as well as with aggressive non-bank financial institutions. The search is now en route to seek an industry-leading provider whose mission is to level the playing field for these small and medium-sized banks and credit unions who may lack the resources or the knowledge to be contending with major players.

Today, Financial institutions strive to meet customer expectations by aggregating a myriad of solutions or by signing contracts with a dozen or more service providers to handle their basic requirements—like core processing and card processing. It’s an arduous process and at the same time these financial institutions are always concerned about integrating additional features like mobile check deposit and bill payment and P2P fund transfers in order to remain competitive. “This ordeal can be pretty daunting for anyone, and as problem solvers and innovators at heart, we made it our mission to make the process as hands-off for the institutions as possible while simultaneously driving bleeding-edge features that would give them the jump on the more domineering rivals in the market,” informs Steggall.

To accomplish this, Urban FT provides digital banking solutions that are constantly on the precipice of innovation and are specifically designed to intuitively engage customers, build loyalty, and reduce operating costs at affordable pricing that makes the industry giants balk. They handle quite literally everything, from deploying turnkey banking apps, image capture, and prepaid mobile wallets that deliver a fully branded experience, and cover everything from setup and deployment, to end-to-end platform management. The only thing clients have to worry about except what their having for lunch.

Besides small-to-midsize financial institutions, the firm also enables national retailers and wireless carriers to rise to the next level with their own network-branded cards, building community and significantly driving increased customer engagement and enhanced revenues.

We live our mission of being on the cutting edge of ‘what’s next’ in our industry by innovating technologies that are not only groundbreaking today, but will create momentum for the future

Lastly, Urban FT encourages clients to build or enhance their own solutions using their API library, allowing financial institutions of any size to meet their unique end-goals and add value to their customer’s journey.

To create a competitive differentiation in the global market, Urban FT offers RDC solutions and managed services, allowing customers and businesses to deposit checks conveniently and securely, from anywhere and at any time. In one instance, Citizens Trust Bank, a leader in the financial services industry and one of the largest minority-owned financial institutions in the US was facing challenges with implementing remote deposit capture (RDC) services. After an extensive evaluation of RDC solutions in the market, they decided to leverage Urban FT’s solution for its ease of use, robust functionality, responsiveness, and cost structure. As a result, Citizens Trust bank was able to streamline the transaction and check management processes, as well as improve check handling security.

Urban FT is acclaimed for its unique support that enables its clients to provide a better competitive positioning, enhance customer relationships, improve service and customer retention levels, and reduce operations costs. The firm is independently rated number one on the PYMNTS Digital Banking Tracker (January 2018). The scorecard analyzes and evaluates individual providers based on the unique capabilities including devices, money management, payments, engagement, security, languages, and operating systems. “We live our mission of being on the cutting edge of ‘what’s next’ in our industry by innovating technologies that are not only groundbreaking today, but will create momentum for the future,” asserts Steggall. Currently, the firm’s digital banking solutions are being used by over 650 regional and community banks and credit unions across the U.S., as well as many national brands.

With technology evolving at a rapid pace today, one has to view innovation as a moving target--just because you have been innovative today, doesn’t mean you have staying power tomorrow. The firm’s roadmap includes developing the first ever end-to-end payment processing platform, which is specifically designed to utilize blockchain technology to support centralized and decentralized transaction ledgers. “In the future, we envision a world where our third-party provider (TPP) network will help clients to process ‘rules-based’ transactions in real time, including transactions that involve multiple parties, rules, settlements, and currency types as part of a single transaction,” forecasts Steggall. This “revolutionary evolution” will massively disrupt and transform the global financial system and also enable the industry players to completely rethink the process and logic flow of how they interact with clients.