This article originally appeared on CUbroadcast

Kinective’s CEO Stephen Baker stopped by the show to share the big news about launching Kinective, now a robust connectivity software provider as a result of the recent merger between IMM, CFM, and NXTSoft. Stephen also discussed what it all means for credit unions having three solutions in one, essentially.

According to Stephen, Kinective is the force multiplier for empowering financial institutions and fintechs to accelerate transformation efforts. The firm’s game-changing connectivity platform breaks down integration barriers, unlocks new service possibilities, and enhances a competitive edge for both fintechs and FIs.

Ultimately, he says, it’s all about delivering enhanced member experiences and innovative new products through access to fintech and workflow automation products that are compatible with a credit union’s existing core. Kinective helps credit unions easily connect their core to more than 80 best-of-breed fintechs.

Watch the full episode below:




Read the full transcript below:

Mike Lawson:

Mike Lawson here with CU Broadcast, and welcome to our show. And on today’s program we have Kinective’s very own Stephen Baker. Stephen, how are you, sir?

Stephen Baker:

Doing great. Thanks for having me.

Mike Lawson:

You are welcome. You’re welcome. Hey, there’s been some news in the industry about Kinective and what you guys are doing in regards to a merger with three other companies. And then what it all means for credit unions. So before we get into the merger and what it means for credit unions, give us a quick elevator speech on Kinective. What are you guys all about and how are you helping out credit unions?

Stephen Baker:

Yeah, I mean, Kinective is all about the name, right there: Kinective. Now, we’ve got our own way of spelling it, but if you look at the word itself, it’s actually made up of the word kinetic and the word connective. And there’s a purpose behind that. We want to galvanize momentum and transformation for financial institutions. And we believe the path to that is by providing connectivity, right? And so that’s where we get Kinective. And you think about that in the sense of a body, connective tissue, plays that way too. We want to be that connective tissue that helps bring things together and deliver, frankly, motion for innovation and transformation to the industry.

Mike Lawson:

I love the meaning behind it all, for sure. And speaking of being connected, you guys have connected with three companies now.

Stephen Baker:

Yeah.

Mike Lawson:

There’s been a recent merger with IMM, CFM, and is it NXTsoft? Is that the correct pronunciation?

Stephen Baker:

You’ve said it right. Not everyone does.

Mike Lawson:

Oh, all right. Well, years back, Steve Jobs had NeXT Computer, so I thought –

Stephen Baker:

But I think that company was founded around that time, and there may have been some influence there. I don’t have evidence of that, but.

Mike Lawson:

Interesting. Okay, A little sidebar maybe for later. Alright. But let’s get into the merger. So tell me about this merger and how did you guys get involved being the ringleader here, it sounds like.

Stephen Baker:

Yeah, great question. So in essence, Kinective is the outcome of the merger.

Mike Lawson:

Oh, It is. Okay. Okay.

Stephen Baker:

Yeah. So Kinective is a new company formed from the basis of these three. And what they are is CFM, which many of your listeners will be familiar with. Which is a product that goes into the branch and creates efficiency and automation in a very helpful way relative to how you work with cash.

It connects kind of the teller machine with the cash recycler, provides data and insight into how a credit union or financial institution is managing cash. And it just provides efficiency and tracking. But it’s that branch experience, it’s all about the branch.

And some of the newer innovations there are to facilitate a new vision of how the branch is going to work. That’s more consultative, that’s more got to do with this universal associate, where you’re going to walk into a bank and instead of walking into the teller line, you’re going to meet someone on a couch more like an Apple Store.

And sit down and they’re going to have a tablet, and they’re going to do whatever you know, need to do with them in that fashion. But CFM’s all about the branch. Taking the companies in the order you named them IMM/eSign.

Mike Lawson:

Yeah.

Stephen Baker:

It’s kind of right in the name. But we like to say that signatures is just a piece of what IMM did as a legacy business, and there’s so much more. And really that business is all about workflow and document automation, and yes, capturing signatures. But also adding digitization to things that don’t have them today.

And one of the ways … Because I know one of the questions everyone has is how does this thing come together? How does it make sense?

Mike Lawson:

Yeah, that was my next question.

Stephen Baker:

Yeah. And one of the really beautiful things is one of the products from the IMM legacy business is this thing called eReceipts Plus. Which is where, again, going back to the branch, traditionally I go get cash or whatever it is, I get a receipt, maybe I sign that. Then the bank person has to figure out what they’re going to do with it, archive it or what have you.

This is an experience where instead of any of that, you get a text message. And then you sign it on your phone.

Mike Lawson:

Love that.

Stephen Baker:

And then it’s automatically archived. So really a much more kind of future-forward experience in the branch level. And you think about taking that to the drive through –

Mike Lawson:

Oh yeah.

Stephen Baker:

And now it’s like magic. So that’s IMM signatures and workflow, and managing kind of things like receipts. And then the third leg of the stool of our merger is NXTsoft, which is all about digital connectivity. So bringing all the fintechs of the industry to the doorstep of the financial institutions, or the credit unions that want to use them.

So in today’s world, if you’re a credit union on a given core and you want to deliver some new service or change the way you’re delivering a service, you’re either kind of restricted to what the core offering is, or you’ve got to go find somebody that integrates to that core, or you’ve got to build an IT team to connect the dots. NXTsoft is all about making that as easy and turnkey as possible.

Basically opening up the world of fintech solutions as a menu for credit unions where they can pick and choose the solutions that they want to use. And then we deliver the seamless turnkey connectivity that makes that happen. It makes the integration to the core a reality in a way that they don’t have to worry about it. They don’t have to design it, they don’t have to maintain it. It just works.

Mike Lawson:

Love it. Love it.

Stephen Baker:

Yeah.

Mike Lawson:

Okay. Now you posed my next question midway through your response there. So how do these three companies, or these three technologies, if you will, come together to almost in a one-stop shop type of fashion and benefit the credit union? And then ultimately the member, obviously, what pain points were you guys trying to answer?

Or what kind of future forward-thinking were you guys looking at doing? Because it takes, I think, a visionary to go, “Hey,let’s put this piece of technology and this piece of technology, and this one all together, and this is going to be a super cool app or a super cool piece of technology for a credit union to really move forward into the future.

Stephen Baker:

100%. And that’s the name of the game. And to be fully clear, we’re bringing all these companies together into one company. So there’ll be one product team, one services team, one support team. And I think that’s one of the benefits to the customers, to the credit unions in the market.

Mike Lawson:

Yeah.

Stephen Baker:

You’re going to have an easier, simpler universe to deal with to do the things you want to do. You’ll have more solutions, more access to solutions from a trusted vendor, that being Kinective.

And there’ll be more integrated service offerings. We’re bringing connectivity together with workflow automation, and there’s synergies there that it wouldn’t occur to you necessarily out of the gate, which is because we talked to fintechs as well.

And fintechs, if we turn this on its head, the problem they’re trying to solve is they want to develop a solution and they want access to the whole market. They don’t want to have to integrate to this core and that core. So we provide that connectivity to them as well. So it’s really two sides of the same coin.

Mike Lawson:

Okay. Okay.

Stephen Baker:

And then as far as workflow, it’s the same thing. I think credit unions want to have solutions that make workflow and deliver automation.So do the fintechs. And so we work on both sides, we partner with both sides.And I think in the same way, there’s benefit to the fintechs from being able to get integrated connectivity to multiple cores. We also now bring to them,”Hey, let us manage the signatures, the document automation, all of that.”

And so that’s a benefit indirectly to the credit union, but also being able to have all these things delivered from Kinective directly is a direct benefit. And as a result as well, we’ve got a larger, better funded company with greater resources to focus on R&D services, support, security, scalability, all the things that they care about.

So essentially there’s a piece of this which is we’re a bigger, and I’m going to hesitate to say this, but I would say more mature,perhaps more established entity by virtue of having all these different pieces.And one thing that’s been frankly really exciting for me as the leader of the business is now to have access to business leaders from each of these constituent organizations and creating a team that has all, it really is an all star team of executives and team members that understand every nuance and niche of the market. And I think that’s going to serve our customers really well in the long term. So they’re going to see continued innovation and continued value coming from us at a rate that they didn’t have from any of these constituent organizations.

Mike Lawson:

Exactly. Yeah, because IMM and CFM are obviously very well known in the industry already, and obviously NXTsoft speaks for itself with the connectivity there. And, getting back to the connectivity part of it, would it be fair to say that you guys are this kind of bridge between fintechs and the credit unions as far as the core goes as well? I mean, that’s a —

Stephen Baker:

100%.

Mike Lawson:

… Hurdle for a lot of credit unions and fintechs trying to work together is that core hurdle. Can you work with X, Y, Z core or can you work with A, B, C core? Well, maybe, maybe not type of stuff. So it sounds like you guys are blowing that up and say, “Hey, come on, bring it all on.”

Stephen Baker:

And that really is the big idea at the core of what we’re doing.

Mike Lawson:

Yeah.

Stephen Baker:

It’s a good bit of a pun there. But yeah, so we are that connectivity, that center, that one connection for both sides. On the one side, it’s access to all the solutions and —

Mike Lawson:

Sure.

Stephen Baker:

… Let me control my destiny if I’m a credit union.

Mike Lawson:

Oh, completely.

Stephen Baker:

And I don’t want to be beholden necessarily to what’s on the menu from the core. And then from the fintech perspective, yeah, we’re going to open up the market and enable you not to spend all your money on integrations and APIs. So we’re providing API and connectivity between all these disparate points.

So if you can imagine on the one hand, 40 cores, and you can imagine on the other hand, 80 fintechs growing every day, we are the interchange between all those points to deliver. And again, you can do this on your own if you want to hire a consultancy and buy a package.

But we’re delivering that with a white glove and making it just work. And so I think about words like control and freedom, and just the ability to drive your own destiny as a credit union. And I think that’s really powerful for the market.

Mike Lawson:

Yeah, I like that freedom word as well. I think credit unions do too. So yeah, you’re spot on there for sure. So kind of wrapping up here, what’s the big audacious goal that you guys are looking to achieve with Kinective and credit unions? I mean, I know you’ve probably kind of alluded a little bit to it in your previous responses, but to kind of clarify and wrap it up in a nice bow here, what’s the big goal here?

Stephen Baker:

Well, we want to help deliver the future of banking. And we’re not going to be the ones to create every innovation that a consumer isultimately using, but we want to help bring that innovation to the hands of the credit union so they can both deliver it to their customers.

Mike Lawson:

Yeah.

Stephen Baker:

That’s really the bottom line.

Mike Lawson:

Okay. Well, I like it and I think credit unions will like it as well. Especially having these three technologies coming together and really helping propel them into the future, obviously. Which is what we’re all looking for these days. For sure.

Stephen Baker:

Yeah.

Mike Lawson:

All right, Stephen, anything else to add to wrap up here?Because I know we’ll probably be talking again in the future as you guys bring on more credit unions and maybe get some user experience stories from those folks. That’d be exciting as well. But any final thoughts?

Stephen Baker:

Love to do that. No, no, this has been great. Really appreciate you having me. We would love to keep up the dialogue.

Mike Lawson:

Oh yeah.

Stephen Baker:

This is going to continue to get interesting as we go forward.

Mike Lawson:

Oh, I think so, sir. I think so. You guys are going to snowball for sure. All right. All right Stephen, well I’ll let you get back to work. Thank you so much again for your time and congrats on the successful merger,if you will, and making it into Kinective. And I love the meaning behind the word as well, so lots of great positive connotations there for sure. So, alrighty sir, I’ll let you get back at it. Thanks. Appreciate it, Stephen.

Stephen Baker:

Great. Thanks so much Michael. Appreciate it.