Fintech i2c is betting on partnerships with big consulting and advisory firms such as Accenture and Deloitte to fuel future growth.
The issuing-processing fintech is “very aggressively” building out its partnerships with system integrators such as Accenture and Deloitte, said i2c President Jacqueline White during a recent interview. Redwood City, California-based i2c is also talking with other firms such as Cognizant, Capgemini and PwC, White said.
White, who joined i2c in June, was previously a senior managing director at Dublin-based Accenture. Just before joining i2c, she was president of the Americas region business for Swiss core banking provider Temenos.
“We are working with Accenture in global payment processing, as well as their core banking practice,” White said. “Same with Deloitte. We have big plans with Deloitte. They have a very unique value proposition for banks and fintechs around global payments, again, as well as core banking providers.”
Partnering with those large firms creates an avenue for new business for i2c, which provides card issuing, payment processing and core banking services, White said.
Each of those big firms has top clients in financial services and advises them on digital transformation of their processing or core banking systems, White noted. And each firm has a presence in multiple geographic regions, which presents a sizable opportunity for i2c, she added.
i2c, founded in 2001, serves hundreds of clients globally. The company, which is profitable, has about 1,700 employees, a spokesperson said. As i2c strives to become a $1 billion company within five years, “this is really a key component of our growth plan,” White said of partnerships growth.
i2c aims to have just under 20 system integrator partnerships by this time next year, White said. She declined to share expected revenue generation for each partnership.
The partnerships are also part of i2c’s pursuit of its core banking business growth. i2c has offered core banking capabilities for the last several years and has customers globally that use parts of its core banking solution, White noted. But this month, the fintech is announcing a large regional bank customer that’s its first U.S.-based client using i2c’s end-to-end service, she said.
“Around core banking, we want each of these partners to have an i2c practice of delivery resources,” White said. “When customers want to engage and deploy and implement an i2c solution, they can go to any one of the system integrators … and say, ‘We need i2c subject matter expertise,’ and hopefully, ideally, all of these SIs would have those i2c practices built and enabled, trained and ready to go.”
Core banking is projected to be a $30 billion industry by 2026, according to White, and in the North American market, “there’s no clear winner,” she asserted. Fiserv and Fidelity National Information Services are the biggest players in the U.S., but Jack Henry & Associates, Temenos and Finastra also compete in the space.
“Some of these companies have acquired – they’ve got 15 core banking solutions through acquisition,” she said. “And so you have to wonder, how much focus do they have on any given solution? Which ones are being sunset, which ones are being invested in? How do they work together?”
She said i2c aims to position its single, unified platform in contrast to the “legacy spaghetti” in the market, and offer banks and fintechs the payment processing, direct deposit and other services they need to provide a frictionless experience for end users.
i2c “is not an amalgamation of acquired solutions that we’re trying to duct tape together on the backend,” White said. The market “is craving stability and dependability,” she added.
i2c may face an uphill battle in the U.S., however. Fiserv, FIS and Jack Henry “are not likely to see significant competition for core banking platforms from ‘modern’ providers,” Oppenheimer & Co. Analyst Dominick Gabriele wrote in an Oct. 6 note to investor clients.
“Although modern cloud-native platforms have the underlying architecture, they lack the product breadth and/or relationships to fully penetrate meaningfully … into the US market,” Gabriele wrote.