What fintechs need to know about API banking platform Treasury Prime
Choosing a banking as a service (BaaS) provider is one of the most important decisions you will make. You may be building a fintech product that puts banking at its center, or you may just be embedding financial features as a perk for customers. Whatever your business model, the BaaS service you choose will determine what bank partners you can access, and what options you will have for building relationships with them. That’s why it’s crucial for fintechs to do their research before choosing their API banking provider.
Treasury Prime recommends 10 key questions to help you find the best match. Here, we present our own answers to those questions. To read more about why you should ask these questions, read our other post.
Before we jump into our responses, we’ll give you a quick, high-level overview of our service:
One thing that makes Treasury Prime unique is our equal focus on businesses that are embedding financial tools, fintechs, and banks. We don’t just digitize banking or provide APIs to fintechs, but we actually act as a central hub that connects very different markets that need to work together to achieve mutual success.
We offer the fastest and most supported experience for businesses including fintechs, with usage-based pricing that guarantees all parties succeed only if your company succeeds. We also offer best-in-business chartered bank partners to support your company.
Our banking partners include LendingClub Bank, BankProv, Burling Bank, and Piermont Bank. We also have unique partnerships with KYC identity verification vendor Alloy, and risk monitoring vendor Unit 21.
To learn more about how we work, read on.
Download a single page cheat sheet with these questions for quick reference during calls or meetings.
1. “What’s your approach to banking as a service?”
You can start your conversation with potential BaaS providers by asking about their overall approach — including their customer focus, industry or use case focus, and whether they take an account- or card-centric approach. Here is how Treasury Prime approaches BaaS.
We consider fintechs, non-financial businesses, and banks. This makes us different from many other BaaS industry vendors who have focused on building a product focused on fintechs alone. Treasury Prime has integrations with many bank partners. This enables us to match each of our business partners with a bank partner that is fully onboard and supportive of what the company needs. Banks also wax and wane in terms of their capacity to take new fintech or embedded banking customers. Having a large stable of great banks ensures that we can find a bank partner for almost every type of business. It also means that should a situation arise where you need to change banks, you can do so much more easily by moving to another bank in our network. The shortcomings of focusing only on fintechs is that a BaaS provider will be limited in terms of both the number and types of fintechs it can support.
Industry or use case focus
Treasury Prime supports neobanks, commercial fintechs, and retail fintechs, as well as embedded banking for non-finance industry businesses. Because we also serve banks directly and help them find the right partners to help them with their own goals, we are able to attract best-in-class bank partners to support businesses in a wide range of industries and use cases. Our integrations with multiple banks ensure that every company that works with us has a partner that understands and supports their business. Your bank’s goals are strategically aligned with your goals.
Beyond the broader categories we support, we work with companies in niche areas with their own regulations, including healthcare, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and cannabis/marijuana.
Account- versus card-centric
Treasury Prime takes an account-centric approach to BaaS. We do this because bank accounts are at the center of bank processes, allowing deeper integration with bank cores; and because an account-centric approach allows fintechs and other businesses that embed banking tools to build more products and services either at launch or as they grow. With bank accounts you can support all forms of payment rails, including wiring money, sending or receiving ACH payments, and peer-to-peer payments. Accounts also enable multiple forms of lending. Learn more about our account-centric approach here.
2. “Do you facilitate a direct relationship with banks?”
Every fintech at scale has a direct relationship with their bank. Treasury Prime believes the same should hold for any business, of any size or stage of development, that derives value from delivering an application with embedded banking services. The bank partnership is the most critical relationship for maintaining any sort of fintech service. You need control over that relationship in order to grow.
If you aren’t a bank, you probably also are not expert in the complexities and regulations of the U.S. banking system. By working directly with your bank, you benefit from an experienced partner who can help you with the nuances of money transfer, Know Your Customer (KYC/KYB), risk mitigation, and fraud prevention. And if there are ever any issues, you have a direct line to the bank as well as to Treasury Prime.
3. “How many bank partners are you integrated with?”
Treasury Prime is currently integrated with 10 chartered U.S. banking institutions and we are adding more banking partners to our network all the time.
Two of our banking partners, LendingClub Bank and Piermont, are integrated with our partner card issuer Marqeta, and our other bank partners all support a wide-range of services. Whatever your fintech does, you can build on FDIC-insured accounts with one of our partners.
4. “What full list of services do you offer?”
Treasury Prime offers a full range of services including:
Account Opening: Treasury Prime empowers you to open various account types including personal, business, and trust accounts. You can also:
- Build commercial & retail account application UI
- Integrate KYC & KYB tools
- Connect accounts with Plaid
Debit cards: With Treasury Prime, you can issue debit cards and enable debit card payments.
Payments: Treasury Prime’s account-centric approach means you can activate the full spectrum of payment rails available at banks. These include:
- ACH transfers
- Wire transfers
- Bill pay
- Book transfers
- Debit card payments
- Depositing checks
Prepare for audits: Treasury Prime has a 4-point compliance framework that guides you through the documents, tools and partnerships needed to address all the critical aspects of regulatory compliance.
- KYC & KYB protocols
- Tools for detecting potentially fraudulent transactions
- Multi-factor authentication
Service accounts: With Treasury Prime you can enable key account features so customers can get full use of their accounts. Customers can:
- Check account balances
- Make payments & transfers
- View transaction history
- Manage cards
- Deposit checks
- Access bank statements
Admin tools: Developer dashboard and bank console.
Read more about our offerings here.
5. “How fast can my company get to market with your BaaS services?”
With Treasury Prime, you can test, build, and launch in weeks. This includes the time it takes for you to integrate with your bank partner, so there are no unexpected delays. We can do this because we have built trust with banks. By the time you contract with us, one of our partner banks is already prepared to integrate with you.
We offer two ways to open accounts with banks:
- On-core accounts: In an on-core setup, your customers open accounts directly on the bank’s core. Under this setup, you have access to whatever the bank would typically offer account-holders, out of the box; and the bank has full visibility into the accounts, which makes compliance easier. But this approach is less customizable, and may feel restrictive for some business models.
- FBO or “for benefit of” account: Under this approach, you have your own dedicated FBO account from which to carve virtual accounts for your customers. Your FBO account is directly on the bank’s core. This setup allows you more leeway to customize your offerings to customers, but also requires greater responsibility on your part. For example, you may need to work with Treasury Prime or one of our third-party vendors to help with compliance.
Both options allow a direct relationship between you and your partner bank.
6. “What can I expect in terms of implementation support?”
With our white glove service, Treasury Prime will have your back every step of the way from kickoff to launch. Here’s a look at our implementation process.
Before the contract: Experiment with our developer sandbox.
Want to learn more about Treasury Prime’s offerings on your own before reaching out to our sales team? Create keys and start building with the API in our Developer Sandbox. The sandbox is open to any fintech interested in working with us, no strings attached, before you sign a contract. That means developers have the resources they need to get started as soon as they are ready.
Sign contract, immediately receive personalized service
Once you contract with Treasury Prime and a partner bank, we will assign you a success manager and a back up success manager — that way you can always reach someone with urgent needs.
To foster fast communication, we will also sign you up for a dedicated Slack channel to communicate real-time with your Treasury Prime success team. We will also set up weekly success team meetings with you and your partner bank to answer any technical or integration questions your team has.
Make a plan
We create a project plan and timeline that includes all the steps you’ll need to take before launch. This includes legal and compliance steps such as KYC and due diligence and functionality buildout.
If you plan to offer a card program, we will provide initial feedback and work with the card printer and card network directly to get your card design approved.
Move to production
Our customer success team walks you through everything you'll need to start opening real accounts, issuing cards, and more. In addition to weekly meetings, your dedicated Slack channel, and direct contact with your success team, you can send general service requests to email@example.com, which then routes the request to a subject matter expert as soon as possible. The team is generally available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET) Monday through Friday.
Launch your new product
Introduce your great new financial products to the world, backed by support from our customer success team.
7. “How many fintechs have you brought to market — and who are they?”
Treasury Prime has brought more than 80 fintechs to market, as well as helped many non-fintechs embed financial services in their apps. Some of our top fintech companies include:
- Business banking app Brex
- Max, an app that allows users to manage multiple bank accounts in one place and helps them increase interest earned on deposits
- First Dollar, a modern HSA administrator where the user owns the account and can roll money over year to year
- Challenger, which enables employers to offer banking and savings accounts to employees
- Guava, a digital community bank for Black entrepreneurs
- ZenBusiness, a guided business formation and growth platform
- Tuvoli, a startup aviation company took off by adding embedded banking services
- Wagestream, a charity-backed company aiming to increase financial well-being for millions of workers by helping them manage their earnings and build up savings
8. “Why are your clients happy with your service? And can I speak to some of them?”
Fintech firms and businesses with embedded banking services say Treasury Prime has helped them launch fast and maximize returns. To really understand our impact, you need to hear from our customers in their own words.
Here's what our fintech partners have to say:
"The main factor that led us to Treasury Prime was that we knew that they could move quickly and reliably—and that its partner Piermont Bank was similarly able to work quickly while still reassuring us that users would be benefiting from secure, world-class technology."
– Wagestream Director of Data and Integrations Jingbo Huang.
“I was talking to a few other BaaS providers, and Treasury Prime was the one that made the most sense, because of their wide network of existing bank relationships.”
– Guava Founder & CEO Kelly Ifill
“When businesses are forced to spend precious time filing business paperwork, and communicating separately with their bank and accountant, they have less time to devote to their actual product or service. Our goal is to give them that time back and make things easier. And to be a great partner in that way, we also need great partners.”
– ZenBusiness CEO CEO Ross Buhrdorf
“Leveraging our early work with Treasury Prime, we were able to expand our product suite, launching Max Checking — what we believe to be one of the best and fastest checking accounts in the country. Launching Max Checking made it possible for customers to get started with Max in as little as 60 seconds, and has nearly doubled our conversion rate. With Treasury prime, we're able to approve more than 90% of bank applications. That's a great experience for our customers, and obviously a great conversion rate for our banks.”
— Gary Zimmerman, founder and CEO of Max. Hear his full comments here.
“Working with Treasury Prime and LendingClub bank, we were able to define and launch a new product for our customers and rely on their banking and technology expertise. With Treasury Prime augmenting our in-house team, we quickly launched our checking product and then were able to easily add a savings product as well. Treasury Prime made the process fast and seamless.”
— Gal Zhovnirovsky, VP of Product and Member Experience, Ametros
“Historically, integrations with banks would take months, or even a year, but by working with Treasury Prime, we were able to integrate in just weeks. Treasury Prime has reduced the friction of getting to market and helped Spence Labs scale by allowing us to focus our time and money on the core of our business: sales, customer service and consumer growth.”
— Chris Rentner, Co-Founder & CEO, Spence
9. “What is your pricing structure?”
Treasury Prime’s pricing is usage based: You pay for the API calls you make, which we believe is critical in ensuring that all parties’ incentives are aligned. We also structure our pricing so that unit costs go down as usage increases. It’s a win-win-win: As our partners grow and succeed, so does the bank and Treasury Prime.
10. “What makes your offering different from your competitors?”
- Treasury Prime’s team is unique because we’ve worked in traditional banks as well as fintech startups. We know bank systems better than anyone, and we also understand what it takes to build and scale a business.
- We are a developer-focused company with the most powerful and best documented API for integrating with banks.
- We have the deepest integration with bank systems which gives you access to the full breadth of banking capabilities.
- We work with multiple banks so we can connect you with the right bank partner(s) who meets your unique needs.
- We ensure that you have a direct relationship with your bank, because — as a company delivering banking services to your customers — this is the most important relationship for your business.
- Our platform gives you everything you need to get started immediately with pre-built, out-of-the-box feature sets and all the tools you need to customize as you grow, and this helps you get to market fast while staying compliant with banking regulations.
- We embed best-in-class products directly into our APIs. For example, Marqeta for issuer processing or Alloy for KYC.
The broader consideration underlying these 10 questions is whether a particular BaaS provider meets your unique needs. At Treasury Prime, we have everything you need to get to market at lightning speed.
Want to explore more? Visit our Developer Sandbox (we explain it here) and read more advice for finding the best BaaS partner for your needs.
Ready to chat? Contact us here.