Building a successful bank and fintech partnership: the CGD story

5 min read|Published February 13, 2020
Building a successful bank and fintech partnership: the CGD story

Bank and fintech partnerships are booming as the shift in the financial industry is taking everyone in the same direction. But just like with any other relationship, a happily ever after is not always a given. We’ve previously shared tips from our own experience in building successful partnerships, but we were curious to get the bankers’ perspective. So we reached out to our partners at CGD for their take on it.

Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) and Tink first met at the Efma Congress 2018. They started to exchange ideas, and quickly realised they were a great match. And that together, they could build something great: a first-class mobile experience leveraging open banking technology. The union soon became official.

Six months later, CGD launched DABOX, a personal finance management (PFM) app that gives millions of Portuguese consumers insights and tools to improve their finances. DABOX became a success – winning different awards in Europe and Portugal, and attracting 50,000 users in a matter of months.

This is what Rui Negrões Soares, Head of Digital Bank Department at CGD, had to share about his experience in partnering with Tink, and what he believes to be the most important ingredients for a successful bank-fintech relationship.

What made you believe that Tink would be a good match for CGD?  

It might seem a bit counterintuitive to match a 144-year-old company with an 8-year-old one, but the positive interactions between Tink’s open banking team and our own quickly made us realise that we could work together and deliver something that seemed almost impossible from the beginning: a PFM app that aggregates information from every bank in Portugal. And in addition, to be able to deliver that app to our customers in less than 6 months’ time.

What was it like working together?

The focus and commitment of both companies guided by the common project team – overtaking all the obstacles and involving all the internal stakeholders on both companies – was the cornerstone of this relationship. We had one common goal, and always strongly believed in what we were delivering. And it was all done with a great mixture of Portuguese and Swedish joy. I must say we really had fun together.

What is the result of the partnership?

In less than six months, we went from contract negotiation to delivering our app DABOX, the first open banking app in Portugal. 

We had a rough start because not all banks were fully ready for this new ecosystem, but by the end of 2019, we had reached our KPIs and our MVP was a success. Especially if we consider the fact that DABOX has attracted almost 50,000 users in 4 months.

What would you say are the key factors behind a successful partnership?

The same ingredients that make every relationship work: hard work, commitment, and respect. 

Some might say that we have a lot working against us, especially when considering that we are from very different cultures and that we have a rather long geographical distance between us. But I think it is very important to keep in mind that we are in the same team and that we want the same thing: to create a successful partnership with one common goal - to successfully bring the DABOX app to market. 

To succeed, I think it is very important to talk and to listen on a regular basis and to always keep our common goals and challenges in mind. We have always worked as one team, and for us, it does not matter if you are from CGD or Tink - because together we are DABOX.

What are your plans for the future?

The DABOX app is still only taking its first steps. Our challenge for 2020 is to set up the foundations for the unique value proposition of DABOX. We will be leveraging Tink’s services, technology and expertise on open banking and data analytics to deliver the best financial ‘personal trainer’ Portuguese customers have ever seen and experienced.

Want to know more? 

Read the full interview where Rui and Tink’s own Viktor Möllborg talk about the partnership’s origin at an Efma Congress.

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