The winner of Fintech South’s 2023 Innovation Challenge wants to bring community banks into the Netflix Era.
No, your banker isn’t going to star in any binge-worthy series any time soon (at least that we know of). But rather Vertice AI, an Atlanta-based SaaS startup, wants to help local banks and credit unions keep up with consumer demand for personalized content at every turn.
“We live in the Amazon, Netflix, Spotify Era. We expect personalized service and personalized recommendations and every interaction,” Vertice AI’s Mitch Rutledge told Hypepotamus.
Rutledge and his team believe that personalization can help credit unions and community banks compete against larger and emerging players.
“There’s massive pressure on these community financial institutions. On one side, big banks are trying to gain our wallet share. And then you’ve got the digital first neobanks. Then there’s this group in the middle – community financial institutions, credit unions and community banks – that are getting squeezed from both sides,” Rutledge said.
Sitting at the intersection of AI and marketing, Vertice AI’s big value proposition is that it allows community banks to leverage their customer data without needing to bring in their own team of data scientists. To help these financial institutions compete, Vertice AI plugs into existing banking platforms and marketing technology systems to turn their existing data into actionable insights. The platform helps banks and credit unions recommend the right products and services based on their financial health and overall goals.
For financial institutions, this has the added benefit of helping grow member engagement and loyalty.
“These community financial institutions are the bedrock of personal finance in this country,” says Rutledge, since over 130 million Americans are members of a federally-insured credit union. “It’s a big part of the world, so we need to make sure that we can empower them to serve their customers.”
BANKING MEETS MARKETING
Rutledge might be new to both the banking and the startup worlds, but he brings a wealth of experience from his years at Manhattan Associates and SAS. Building his career in retail and SaaS, Rutledge says he understands the importance of creating personalized consumer experiences.
Bootstrapped so far, the startup officially launched in 2022 and secured its first client in January of this year. Vertice AI is currently working with five credit unions and runs on a B2B subscription license model.
The team recently participated in the Technology Association of Georgia’s Innovation Challenge cohort, which brought together 10 promising local Fintech and Insurtech startups through a four-week mentorship program. Other startups selected this year included Arbo Technologies, BabyFever, CryptoKlout, EpocHarvest, Gabriel Money, Infinite Giving, InsurAware, Rainbook, and Transend.
The team recently took home the top prize at the Fintech South’s 2023 Innovation Challenge, and was one of three up-and-coming local Fintech and Insurtech startups that pitched earlier this month at the Georgia World Congress Center.
With the win, Vertice AI took home a $25,000 cash prize and a free year of admission in the ATDC Accelerate program.
Following the win on the Fintech South stage, Rutledge is preparing to pitch at VentureTech, a credit union and fintech-focused conference taking place in Texas this November, and is positioning Vertice AI for growth in the coming year.
“2024 is going to be an exciting growth year for us. We’ve got a great product, we’ve got a great team, and we just want to continue to get out there and get in front of more community financial institutions,” he added.