Future of Banking: Emprise Bank

How they set up a Banking as a Service (BaaS) program and long-term strategy for embedded finance growth
January 11, 2024
Future of Banking: Emprise Bank

We’re showcasing banks that are leveraging embedded banking software to forge innovative bank-fintech partnerships, reach new markets and drive low-cost deposits. 

This week we profile Emprise Bank, a family-owned bank in its third generation of leadership. With over $2.4 billion in assets and 34 locations across the Midwest, Emprise has been doing business for over 100 years. CEO and Chairman of the board Matt Michaelis began his career working for several investment banks in New York before later founding a private equity firm. He returned to Wichita seven years ago to run Emprise Bank, bringing back a new perspective and making embedded banking a priority. Emprise Embedded launched in 2022, and the bank is actively running fintech programs in partnership with Treasury Prime. 

“Embedded banking allows us to reach customers we otherwise wouldn’t have access to and enables us to empower more people to thrive. And we can support partners that want to embed financial services in unique ways for customers,” says Emily Reisig, SVP, of Emprise Embedded. “It's a long-term growth strategy for the bank.”

Why Emprise Bank is partnering with embedded finance companies through Banking as a Service(BaaS)

Emprise Bank's foray into BaaS began with a comprehensive exploration of available options. The bank meticulously assessed its core competencies, resources, and technological infrastructure. Recognizing that their in-house tech stack, while strong in core banking areas, wasn't tailored for the complicated task of developing APIs to integrate with fintech partners, Emprise decided they needed to focus on their core competency – banking. 

Forgoing the arduous effort involved in independent buildouts, Emprise opted to capitalize on the advanced API banking technology developed by Treasury Prime, an embedded banking software platform built by bankers, for banks. Emprise also saw the benefit of finding a partner with proficiency in fintech business development and pipeline volume management, a critical consideration for newcomers to the embedded finance space. 

“We knew we needed a technology partner that could build upon our core banking technology and help offer API banking services to a wider market. We found that in Treasury Prime,” Reisig says. The strategic alliance positions Emprise Bank to navigate the evolving BaaS landscape with agility, leveraging the strengths of both entities for mutual success.

Embedded banking partnerships - direct bank relationships

Many fintech startups look for banks that include BaaS as part of their services, according to Insider Intelligence. A bank integrated with Treasury Prime’s banking APIs can expedite multiple enterprise connections with remarkable speed. 

While some BaaS providers act as intermediaries for all communication, Treasury Prime facilitates direct relationships between embedded finance companies and banks to enable open communication and complete transparency. Through this model, both parties can work closely together on compliance and resolving issues quickly, which leads to trust and helps to build long-term relationships.

“While technology in the bank fintech partnership is important, it’s about so much more. It’s also about providing compliance and risk management oversight and having a relationship-based partnership where we can provide collaborative support to help them deliver the best banking product to the market,” Reisig says. 

Launching embedded banking products

Products and services that Emprise provides to fintechs and non-financial brands through the Treasury Prime platform include:

Embedded banking products offered by Emprise Bank

  • Commercial Checking Accounts
  • Retail Checking Accounts
  • ACH (Same Day and Standard)
  • Wire Transfers
  • Debit Card Issuing
  • KYC/KYB (with Alloy)

Treasury Prime provides the connective tissue — the banking API — between the enterprise and the bank in embedded finance programs.  Dedicated customer success and engineering teams work hand in hand with both parties to integrate the two systems and ensure that financial transactions are running smoothly on the platform. 

“The responsiveness that we've received from Treasury Prime has been very impressive,” Reisig says. “They’re good people doing good work and take a collaborative approach to solving problems.“

Dedicated BaaS Team and Compliance

Emprise Bank has spent the past year reinforcing its foundation by assembling a dedicated team for its BaaS program. Recognizing the long-term nature of an embedded finance venture, Emprise has hired dedicated employees to support these fintech partnerships including a compliance officer, BSA officer, risk officer, account manager, card and ACH operation specialists. This solid foundation has helped Emprise become more agile. 

Reisig likens having this team to installing brakes on a car, not to slow down but so they can move fast safely, ensuring a comprehensive oversight framework while enabling the swift execution of their BaaS initiatives.

“As the bank, we help keep fintech partners safe and compliant with regulatory requirements, which is an expertise we have cultivated for the last 100 years,” Reisig says. “The beauty of the trifecta partnership is that all three parties specialize in what they do best. We provide the banking infrastructure, Treasury Prime develops the technology to connect us to enterprise customers, and the fintech creates a delightful experience for a specific market.”

Wondering how embedded banking could help your bank? Contact Treasury Prime — we have established fintech and embedded finance clients and extensive compliance experience. Read more about our $40 million Series C Funding and why Tearsheet named us the Best Banking as a Service company two years in a row. Talk to the best embedded finance team in the industry.

Related bank fintech partnership content:

5 Ways Fintechs Can Prepare for a Bank Partnership

Future of Banking: Grasshopper Bank

How Banks Can Grow Low-Cost Deposits with Embedded Finance

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