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KeyCorp (KEY) Expands Digital Offerings, Acquires GradFin

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KeyCorp KEY has announced the acquisition of Philadelphia, PA-based GradFin. This will strengthen the company’s digital offering capabilities.

GradFin, founded in 2015, is one of the leading providers of Public Service Loan Forgiveness counseling. It offers high-end advisory solutions to individuals (mainly healthcare providers) looking for assistance with student loan debt.

Chris Walters, CEO of GradFin said, “We could not have asked for a better partner to help us launch into our next phase, continuing on our mission of bringing our loan education programs and market aggregation to financial advisors and their clients.” He will continue to lead the GradFin team following the acquisition.

Jamie Warder, Head of Digital, KeyCorp added, “Advisors thoroughly understand the economic environment as well as the specific needs of healthcare providers, while the digital platform provides fast and effective solutions for debt relief and government forgiveness programs. This approach perfectly fits Key’s commitment to seamless client interactions and provides for a best-in-class experience.”

The transaction is in sync with KeyCorp’s efforts to undertake strategic partnerships with Fintech companies and cater to clients’ ever-changing needs. Last year, KEY acquired a B2B-focused digital platform, XUP Payments, and a data analytics-driven consultancy firm, AQN Strategies LLC.

Earlier in 2019, KeyCorp had acquired Laurel Road Bank’s digital lending operation and further expanded its operation with the launch of Laurel Road for Doctors in March 2021. These, along with several past buyouts/expansion initiatives, are expected to strengthen its product suites and market share and further help diversify revenues.

Shares of KEY have lost 15.7% over the past year compared with a 15.2% decline of the industry it belongs to.

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Currently, KeyCorp carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Banks Enhancing Digital Capabilities

KeyCorp isn’t the only one that is strengthening digital offerings. Earlier this month, Truist Financial TFC acquired the gamified finance mobile app, Long Game. Long Game changes the way people engage with their banks. The finance mobile app uses prize-linked savings and casual gaming to motivate smart financial behavior.

Truist Financial is expected to use Long Game’s innovative technology to inspire and build better lives and communities. Long Game’s modern architecture is aligned with Truist Financial’s existing technology stack, which will increase client engagement, savings and financial education, particularly among millennial and Gen Z populations.

Likewise, Wall Street giant JPMorgan JPM has been undertaking on-bolt strategic acquisitions/partnerships to expand operations digitally. In 2021, the company acquired the U.K.-based robo-advisor Netmeg.

Further, JPM launched its digital retail bank Chase in the U.K. last year. The company is continuing to strengthen its digital capabilities to align with client requirements.


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