Agora launches digital banking solutions for teens, SMBs  | Bank Innovation | Bank Innovation

Agora launches digital banking solutions for teens, SMBs 

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Atlanta-based Agora Services announced today it is launching white-label products designed to help banks reach small businesses and teens. The startup’s technology enables community banks and credit unions to launch digital banking solutions “within a month” according to the company.

“It is very important for community financial institutions to be able to compete with their main new competitors — challenger banks and national banks — and have access to the same technology that can be deployed in weeks not years,” said Arcady Lapiro, founder and CEO of Agora Services, in a statement. “By having access to these solutions for teens and SMBs, banks and credit unions can expand their digital offerings to provide services way beyond what their core may offer.” 

Agora’s white-label solutions targeting SMBs and teens are launching as a host of direct-to-consumer fintechs target those same customer segments. Digital banking startups NorthOne, Azlo and Novo, for example, are all aimed at small business clients, while Greenlight Financial and Wallit are designed to give young consumers financial health skills. 

The 2-year-old Agora is branding the two solutions, which don’t require any core integration, as Agora Junior and Agora SMB. With Agora Junior, parents can create accounts for their children, top them off and freeze cards. Teens can make sub-accounts and group funds, and the account comes with both virtual and plastic cards. Agora SMB, meanwhile, offers unlimited physical and virtual cards for employees, and the account offers receipt management for tax purposes. 

See also: Too small to fail: Can small banks do what the giants can’t with digital offshoots? 

Quickly launching digital brands is becoming a priority for banking technology providers. FIS, Jack Henry and Temenos all offer solutions that help banks stand up digital brands in 90 days. Startups like Agora must contend with these established core providers as they launch digital banking solutions.

“[Institutions] want to leverage the scale of core providers, their implementation experience and financial stability,” David Albertazzi, research director at Aite Group, previously told Bank Innovation. “Oftentimes, emerging fintech vendors do not offer all of those.”

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