Old Institutions, New Tricks
The Big Five are striking partnerships with emerging fintech, funding promising student projects, and adding new superpowers to their apps
RBC: Experimenting with blockchain technology
The database system that underpins Bitcoin is currently being used to run an experimental "shadow ledger" that tests out the tech as a faster, lower-cost way to move payments between RBC'S U.S. and Canadian banks.
TD: Developing its own Siri-style assistant
Last fall, TD signed an agreement with AI firm Kasisto to license its KAI chatbot technology for TD'S app. No word yet on whether its conversational style will sound more like HAL 9000 or Her's Samantha.
Scotiabank: Locking down emerging cybersecurity tech
Cyberattacks cost banks billions a year. To fight back, Scotia recently partnered with Viola Group to start a venture fund that will invest in Israeli startups, keeping a particular eye out for exciting new anti-fraud initiatives.
CIBC: Making it as easy to get a loan as it is to shop online
In 2016, CIBC struck a partnership with fintech Borrowell to offer qualifying customers easy, one-click loans. Last year, it expanded on that by allowing clients to also check their free Equifax credit score via their apps.
BMO: Fostering nextgen tech firms, Dragon’s Den-style
A partnership with Ryerson's Digital Media Zone mentors startups like Viviplan, a robo-planner that dishes serious financial advice (for instance, letting you know if you're in decent enough shape to buy a house) for under $500.