future cross-sell opportunities. Th ese lenders were looking for a technology and service partner that could deliver a solution to power their lending program. 2. DO YOU “BUILD” OR “PARTNER?” Th e “build” option is usually the most expensive and time-intensive option because it means your own staff must build, test and launch the software. With the “partner” option a bank can outsource the technology to a fi ntech partner while also leveraging its loan origination and servicing staff and using its own underwriting, pricing and branding. Th is is the option that WSFS chose to deliver a white-labeled digital lending solution that can be tweaked as the bank’s needs change. Th e bank’s goal with the partnership was to diversify its product off erings. In 2013, WSFS wanted to off er student lending and refi nancing for the fi rst time. It had been heavily involved in mort-gages, but wanted to reach millennials and help families make col-lege more aff ordable. And the $1.2 trillion student lending market provided a great market opportunity. WSFS vetted a handful of fi ntech partners for the job, and one reason it chose LendKey was because we also help with customer-acquisition eff orts through our national reach. Since WSFS is a regional bank, it had previously struggled with reaching non-Northeast customers. LendKey Marketplace. Th is capability allowed students na-tionwide to search for loans and be paired with WSFS. If an applicant searching on LendKey.com for a student loan has the right parameters of residence and school location, WSFS Bank will appear on the list of potential lenders. By performing the initial credit review faster than the bank could, our platform helped WSFS make decisions more quickly. 4. WHICH FINTECH COMPANY IS BEST SUITED FOR THE JOB? Th is is the fi nal step of the process. After researching fi ntech companies that serve the need you’re looking for, such as per-sonal loans or home loans, your executive team should whittle down your fi nalists and get in-depth demos or presentations showing the benefi ts for your bank. Th e reason WSFS chose LendKey was because it is turn-key with services off ered across the entire customer cycle of a student loan or refi . WSFS appreciated that it could maintain control over the credit criteria and keep the loans on its bal-ance sheet, yet LendKey handled every other aspect including underwriting, servicing and marketing. Choosing a valuable fintech partner that keeps your bank top of mind for customers of all credit life stages is vital. Your team must ask key questions: How will you host the technology? What is the end goal? How do you want cus-tomers to interact with the technology and which company is the best fit? If you can determine the answers to these questions, you will be ready for a productive relationship with your fintech partner that will ultimately grow your bank’s bottom line. Vince Passione is the founder and CEO of LendKey, a pioneering lending-as-a-service (LaaS) platform for major fi nancial institu-tions. For more information, visit www.lendkey.com. 3. WHAT IS YOUR END GOAL? We always ask our clients some key questions before we begin our platform development for them: Are you trying to increase customers? Increase revenue? Do you need to make the cus-tomer approval cycle faster or more user-friendly? What is a new product you’d like to off er? What do your customers most want from you that they aren’t getting currently? LendKey launched the student loan and refi nancing web-site feature and included WSFS on its own website, called the RECEIVABLES FINANCING OPENS UP OPPORTUNITY FOR SMALL BUSINESS BY TERRY RENOUX O nly about 50 percent of small businesses will survive fi ve years, often because of a lack of cash fl ow. In order to hire and pay staff , build new facilities, make repairs, purchase equipment and manage operations, small busi-nesses must have a steady availability of cash to survive. How-ever, after a business sends an invoice to a client, it could be months before receiving the cash it is owed. Th is time lapse between billing and funding can be enough to harm a busi-ness, new or growing, and even sink it. Too often, banks don’t NEXT MONTH: After the Hack Mobile Remote Deposit Capture have proper programs in place to help businesses in situations such as these. In response to this issue, Tupelo, Miss.-based Renasant Bank identifi ed the need to provide unique options outside of its predefi ned lending methods to assist a wider range of small businesses. It turned to accounts receivable fi nancing for small businesses, which put the bank in the asset-based lending space. Renasant Bank launched a program that provides cash in ex-change for a company’s accounts receivable, each day if neces-sary. Th ey are sold to the bank at a discount on a full-recourse basis with a fl exible cash collateral reserve. With this program, introduced as BusinessManager, custom-ers receive the cash deposited into their operating accounts ev-ery time they submit an invoice — giving the businesses quick access to the money they are owed. Renasant Bank, which has assets of $8.5 billion and 148 branches across fi ve Mid-South and Southeastern states, has been able to better serve business customers, consequently increasing its business lending portfo-lio by 130 percent in 2016.