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Michigan Fintech Founder Named Finalist for Innovator of the Year Award

Michigan Fintech Founder Named Finalist for Innovator of the Year Award
Michigan Fintech Founder Named Finalist for Innovator of the Year Award

The financial sector has rapidly changed over the past decade. With the rise of digitization, fast and furious fintech funding, and higher demands for better financial services, the financial sector has been profoundly impacted by innovation. 

Each year, American Banker, a leading publication for financial and banking news and services, honors people who are leading innovation across banking and financial technology, setting the course for the industry's future.

Among the 20 finalists for this year’s Innovators of the Year award is Kathleen Craig, Founder and CEO of Ann Arbor-based fintech, Plinqit.

Kcraig 2022 Headshot“It is an incredible honor to be recognized as a finalist for this year’s Innovators of the Year awards,” said Craig. “We recently launched Plinqit’s latest product innovation, High Yield Savings by Plinqit, a white-label savings product that gives banks an easier, more cost-effective way to launch and scale an affiliate brand. In just a few months, we have seen exciting success and substantial growth in our client base, a testament to the strength of Plinqit’s product suite and the dedication of our team. I am thrilled to be named amongst other industry experts in this year’s American Banker Innovators of the Year award, and I look forward to Plinqit’s future growth.”

Kathleen Craig, Founder and CEO of Plinqit

Passionate about financial wellness education, Craig founded Plinqit in 2013. High Yield Savings by Plinqit (HYS) is a fully white-label way for financial institutions to spin up a digital brand or an affinity brand offering an attractive interest rate to drive new, high-growth deposits. It helps financial institutions grow while serving the savings accounts of their customers.

Prior to launching Plinqit, Criag served as vice president for digital banking at a well-regarded community financial institution. She has also served as an advisor to several fintech startups and served on the boards of A2EF and the Association for Financial Technology. 

Her industry experience as both banker and fintech leader have given her a unique perspective in the financial sector. She has successfully raised over $10 million in venture funding for Plinqit and has partnered with several of the largest financial technology companies in the world. Plinqit now serves more than 50 clients across the U.S., including banks in the top 10 by asset size.

Chosen for developing initiatives that substantially benefit customers and users, the 20 finalists for the Innovators of the Year award were also selected for demonstrating exemplary leadership, teamwork and personal ambition. 

“From embedded banking to artificial intelligence, these bank and fintech leaders aren’t just identifying great ideas, they’re executing them,” says Penny Crosman, Executive Editor, Technology at American Banker. “The results of their innovative initiatives provide massive benefits to customers and drive their businesses — and the industry at large — to new and interesting places.”

Plinqit team

Later this month, one top winner will be announced at an awards dinner at American Banker’s DIGITAL BANKING conference. 

Regardless of who is selected for the top award, Craig says it’s an honor to be named a finalist in a field that still severely lacks gender representation at the executive level. Women account for only about 19% of executives in fintech companies. That number is even smaller for board member representation, which is 11%. And only a staggering 1.5% of fintech founders are female. Those founders receive just one percent of total fintech VC funding. 

Founding a fintech company, raising venture capital, and getting recognized for significant achievements that are positively impacting people, Kathleen Craig and Plinqit are making fintech history. 

Learn more about Plinqit at and be sure to check out their open jobs.