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Carolina Fintech Hub: “Payments is a big part of almost everything”

The race for cutting-edge real-time payments apps reached a peak this spring with the RTP Buildathon that was sponsored by The Clearing House, Oracle and Yodlee. As a representative from buildathon partner Carolina Fintech Hub, the Charlotte, N.C.-based consortium that advocates for new technology solutions, puts it, payments is the cornerstone of today’s modern banking world.

"Payments is a big part of almost everything. Payments is really the thing that makes fintech touch every other industry vertical," Tariq Bokhari, executive director of CFH, told the Charlotte Business Journal.

The RTP Buildathon drew 13 enterprise participants with more than 50 coders and designers registering to compete. Finalists were announced at the Fintech Generations Conference in mid-June and they demoed their real-time payments solutions leveraging the RTP network in New York. The winner in the Best B2B Solution category was 167% Xcelerated Real Time Payments, a joint venture by Fifth Third Bank and AvidXchange Inc.

The buildathon also helped bridge some perceived gaps in cooperation and respect between traditional banks and fintechs that have disrupted the once staid banking technology space.

"Initially, people thought fintechs and banks were sort of enemies, but I think there's very much a relationship of mutualism where we both can benefit from each other," said Kunal Das, chief enterprise architect at South State Bank. "We always want to experiment and look at technology that may improve our customers' experience."

Banks that were once resistant to disruptive technology can no longer ignore innovations that their customers expect.

Bridgit Chayt, director of commercial payments and treasury management at Fifth Third believes that the RTP network is a real driver of commerce. “While the U.S. may be behind globally in adopting faster payments, we think collaborative efforts with banks and fintechs, where you bring innovation and experience together, will actually end up putting us far ahead globally at the end of the day," she said.

Read the entire Charlotte Business Journal article.

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