The Bancorp is doubling down on its commitment to fintech, unveiling plans for a new dedicated fintech innovation and development studio. Dubbed Cube8, the division will serve as a space where Bancorp will “explore unconventional–even radical–ideas in financial technologies” with the goal of creating changes or new opportunities to bolster the company’s business strategies, operational efficiency and incremental revenue, Bancorp said.
“Cube8 is the next logical step for The Bancorp with respect to innovation,” says Bancorp Chief Innovation Officer Pete Chiccino, who will head the new division. “While The Bancorp has always invested in innovation within our various business lines, we are now making it a dedicated priority for the overall organization.”
A long-time sponsor of Finovate—a major fintech industry event—The Bancorp has a history of partnering with innovative companies, including Google and Uber and mobile-only banking startup Varo. Meanwhile, as one the largest prepaid issuers in the world through its Bancorp Bank subsidiary, the company has said it views prepaid as a natural fit that pairs well with many of the innovations taking place in fintech.
Some of the work done by Cube8 will be proprietary, while other projects will be undertaken in conjunction with outside fintech companies. The division, which will be separate from The Bancorp’s daily business activities and based in West Chester, Penn., initially will focus on digital lending, digital payments, mobile payments and blockchain. Cube8 also will explore ways to improve efficiencies in AML/Bank Secrecy Act sphere, big data and artificial intelligence. Chiccino notes that revenue could come from licensing as well as the creation and commercialization of new technologies. “We believe that innovation coming out of the Cube8 studio will allow us to offer industry-leading products and services that can be future business drivers for The Bancorp,” he says.
As fintech development has drawn interest from investors and consumers alike, many major payments and financial services companies have launched units dedicated to innovation in the space. In 2015, Visa Europe opened its Visa Europe Collab innovation hub in London. Mastercard unveiled its own technology lab in New York the previous year, and American Express launched its Financial Innovation Lab in 2014.
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