Podcast June 1, 2021

Designing a Business Bank Around Customer Experience

These days, banks are finally realizing what almost every other industry has already caught on to:

If you want to succeed, you need to build around customer experiences. 

Just ask Alex Wheldon , Co-Founder, President and Chief Product Officer at Rho Business Bank , where he’s helping to usher in the new, customer-focused, paradigm for modern banking.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why customer-focus is the new zeitgeist for modern banking
  • How Rho approaches partnerships
  • The example Rho is setting for other financial institutions

Focusing on the customers

Rho Business Bank is doing things differently.

By using the underutilized sponsor bank model, Alex is confident they will be able to compete like no other bank in history — both as a complimentary service to their partner banks and offering commercial banking services to commercial clients.

But to get there, the company is trying to change the traditional business model into one completely oriented around customer service.

Instead of being a traditional lender or a balance-sheet business, Alex sees the job of Rho as writing software, tools and services that are, bar none, the best.

“If you look at how to power the next generation of American business, you’re going to have to do a really great job.
— Alex Wheldon

And in order to pull it off, Rho is approaching partnerships equally differently.

Partnering for success

Rho is one of the only Fintechs providing commercial banking services that partners with multiple partners.

“Make no mistake: We are a services business.
— Alex Wheldon

One of the first things Alex understood was to avoid bouncing to one partner over another and, instead, ensure that there was always optionality incorporated into every partnership.

That way, Rho are never reliant upon one single partner for everything they do — which Alex sees as a poor strategic decision.

And keeping this optionality open allows them to stay focused on their core objective to build around the customer experience. This is because it allows them to build, buy or partner with a strategic perspective in mind at every juncture to accomplish what they need too.

In the end, that’s how they fulfill their mission to help organizations work better together with money.

The company is constantly trying to help, be great partners, custodians and keepers of its clients’ funds.

Setting an example

Rho also makes sure the company is living and breathing its goal to be a different approach to banking.

And the pandemic was an unprecedented opportunity to prove its dedication to pioneering the future of customer-experience-driven banking.

“We realized that if we didn’t do a good job at setting an example of what’s possible as a Fintech in the industry, how could we possibly present that we’re a superior alternative to existing institutions.

— Alex Wheldon

The company participated in the first PPP program — and had the first program out the door of anyone, including any bank.

Along the way, they aided their competitors in order to help anyone who needed it — even if it wasn’t in their best interest — and did $10 million in loans the first week.

All of this was accomplished with a distributed, relatively young team, who were able to accomplish so much because of their newer approach to finance.

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Until next time!

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