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Banking & Finance

Live Oak, First Data Close On Deal That Creates New Wilmington Company

By Jenny Callison, posted Oct 2, 2017
Live Oak Bancshares has officially widened its lens on the world of digital banking.

Officials with the Wilmington company and First Data (NYSE: FDC) said Monday that the firms have closed on the joint venture announced in May of this year.

The new company, named Apiture, combines First Data’s and Live Oak Bank’s digital banking platforms, products, and services, and is designed to provide “innovative technology solutions tailored for financial institutions,” according to a release from the partners.
 
Each party owns 50 percent of Apiture, which will be based in Wilmington, and each contributes something proprietary to the venture. The new company is in the process of securing office space in the Port City, said Micah Davis, marketing director of Live Oak Bank.
 
Live Oak (NASDAQ: LOB) brings the work it has done on an initiative it dubbed “Acorn,” designed to bring innovation to merchant services, online banking and bill payment products and services. Atlanta-based First Data supplies the online banking tools, which stem from the company’s acquisition of FundsXpress 10 years ago.
 
FundsXpress has about 550 bank customers, according to Live Oak officials.
 
“With Live Oak’s cloud-based banking technologies, First Data’s digital banking solutions, and the combined research and development of two global leaders in financial services technology, Apiture will accelerate the delivery of new digital banking solutions to the market,” the release stated.
 
“Apiture will provide community and regional banks with technology that matches that of the world’s largest financial institutions,” Chris Cox, president of Apiture and former head of digital banking at First Data, said in the release. “We decided to call the joint venture Apiture because of the focus we have on APIs [application programming interfaces] and providing an open platform to deliver best-in-class solutions to this important market.”
 
Apiture’s digital banking systems include online and mobile platforms designed to make it easier for consumers and businesses to manage such transactions as digital bill payments, balance inquiries, fund transfers, mobile check deposits, according to the release. The goal is to enable financial institutions to provide customized online banking websites and mobile applications to their customers in a cost-effective way.
 
“We believe banking is broken in its current form, and we will continue to invest in the technologies and companies that solve the problem,” James “Chip” Mahan, chairman and CEO of Live Oak Bancshares, said in the release. “To that end, Apiture will play a big role in shaping the future of our industry. As a new Apiture customer, Live Oak will leverage the platform to access low-cost deposits through digital channels at scale.”
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