American Banker and BAI Thursday announced FinTech Forward, a new initiative focused on providing bankers information and perspective to aid in future technology decisions.

The program was inspired by a recognition that banking has entered a new era of innovation and investment after an extended period of post-financial crisis retrenchment. At the heart of the initiative is new proprietary research and market analysis conducted by BAI and American Banker. This data and insight will provide the foundation for the FinTech Forward rankings, event content, commentary and reporting.

A central objective of the FinTech Forward program will be to identify the forces and trends that are motivating banks' technology investment. The FinTech Forward team will also spotlight new players that are shaking up the establishment.

While the Top 100 ranking will provide validation for vendors in a highly competitive and regulated marketplace, the compendium of up-and-coming players will shine a spotlight on the new forces and influences shaping the industry from the ground up.

Content will be delivered in digital and print formats and at live events, through SourceMedia's American Banker and Bank Technology News media brands and via BAI's annual BAI Retail Delivery Conference.

FinTech Forward has three primary components:

Rankings and research: The FinTech Forward Rankings will comprise: The Top 100 technology providers to banking and financial services companies; the Top 25 enterprise companies in FinTech; and a new compendium of up-and-coming technology companies in FinTech. In addition, BAI and American Banker will together identify the primary drivers of bank technology spending going forward, drawing on their extensive research initiatives and deep industry engagement.

Live event: BAI Retail Delivery, taking place Nov. 12-14 in Chicago, is an event where more than 3,000 financial industry leaders will come together to reimagine retail banking and gain actionable insights to drive revenue. FinTech Forward organizations will be announced and highlighted at BAI Retail Delivery, and there will be a FinTech Forward President and CEO Panel.

Media: In the weeks leading up to the release of the FinTech Forward Rankings, American Banker will publish a series of analytical articles focusing on key program learnings. Rankings, profiles and related content will be promoted to the online audiences of American Banker and Bank Technology News, and hosted on a special section ( of the American Banker website. FinTech Forward content will also be published in a special Bank Technology News print edition, as a supplement to the Nov. 13 American Banker, and at BAI Retail Delivery.