Google Cloud is creating a new type of digital banking platform with this lender

  • 24/11/2020

The platform will mix the personal relationships of traditional banking with the infrastructure of a digital bank

Google Cloud is joining with a small British bank to develop a new type of platform that mixes the personal relationships of traditional banking with the technology and infrastructure of new digital banks.

Cynergy Bank says that its partnership with Google Cloud and information technology services provider Wipro will allow it to become a “digital relationship bank.”

Google Cloud is a separate entity from Google search, but both are owned by parent company Alphabet GOOGL, -0.50%.

The banking platform that Cynergy says will be “a seamless blend of a face-to-face relationship that is enabled by the latest digital technology” is set to launch in February or March 2021, and is targeted at fast-growing small- and medium-size businesses.

While the bank wouldn’t disclose the value of its deal with Google Cloud, Cynergy Chief Executive Nick Fahy, told MarketWatch that “our investment is tens of millions of pounds.”

The bank said that it will fill a gap between digital banks, like Monzo, which are focused on app-based delivery, and large retail banks that use what Cynergy calls a “one size fits all approach” to small and medium-size commercial clients.

Cynergy will rely on the platform from Google Cloud to allow clients to do much of their banking online, including speaking with bank representatives, while still keeping the option for in-person and over the phone meetings with advisers.

Fahy said that bank relationship managers currently spend around 30% of their time dealing with clients and 70% on internal processes, and the new model hopes to flip that ratio on its head, allowing bankers to spend the majority of their time in client-facing work.

Other goals of the new platform include scaling fast and efficient lending decisions, and developing a new range of digital lending and savings products.

Fahy said the bank hopes the new platform and services will boost its customer base from 80,000 to between 300,000 and 500,000 within the next three years.

Cynergy Bank was formerly the U.K. wing of the Bank of Cyprus, and was sold in 2018 to a group of private investors for £103 million ($138 million).

Google Cloud said that “the exciting part” of the partnership is that the novel banking model will mix elements of traditional banking with the infrastructure of a digital bank.

“This is ideal for small and medium businesses that need the capability and capacity to grow fast,” said Adrian Poole, head of financial services at Google Cloud Platform for the U.K. and Ireland.

The partnership between Google Cloud and Cynergy Bank comes as cloud services, dominated by tech giants, are increasingly becoming critical to financial services companies.

Google Cloud’s technology is already used by banking giants, including Goldman Sachs and HSBC HSBC, +1.34%, as well as digitally-oriented financial services like PayPal PYPL, +4.23% and British fintech bank Monzo.

Last week, Alphabet said that it would allow customers to apply for digital bank accounts through the Google Pay wallet.