Small Bank in Kansas Building Platform as a Service Model

Talk about innovation. Forget blockchain. A $17 million-asset bank in Weir, Kansas is behind some of the most innovative developments in banking. A recent American Banker article caught my eye when Ex Google exec and now CBW Bank banker Suresh Ramamuthi created a health care payment portal using an API marketplace for companies to build their own products and services atop the bank's homegrown technology.

CBW Bank has a truly audacious approach to the market. Simply put: it wants to blow up convention and launch an API marketplace for certain industries including, potentially, money services businesses. According to Ramamuthi, "You would have access to disbursement of funds to a number of countries through the API, which means you can now focus on the customer experience, customer acquisition.”

CBW is a tiny bank at $17 million. It is not your normal deposit taking and lending organiation.  But it is planning some dramatic changes that could ultimately impact the banking industry with its platform as a service model.  The system built by Ramamurthi's team at Yantra Financial Technologies uses debit networks to instantly disburse payments across multiple channels, including cards, the automated clearing house and internal systems.

  • Their healthcare app allows doctors and hospitals to see what they have billed for their services and what they got paid, and then direct the money to any bank account. There's almost $2 trillion in health care payments happening in the country, so the market potential is huge.
  • They've created an app for cloud-connected cars which may have applicability for companies to track their fleet
  • They are investigating a SKU based lending product that ties consumers, shopping and marketplace lenders

In some ways, this small bank reminds me of TradeShift, with the idea of let others write applications and figure out if there's demand for them.

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