SoFi seemed to be controlling the pulse of the fintech narrative in the first half of this year, with aggressive expansion into new product lines and even an industrial loan charter (ILC) application. However, the momentum has shifted quickly in the last few months. While the company continues to generate significant revenue ($145MM in Q3),… Read More


Fintech lender risk isn’t too different from banks TransUnion released a new study this week analyzing tens of millions of loans over the last few years to understand the impact of fintech lenders. In 2016, fintech lenders made up 30% of the personal loan market, but are less risky than some would expect. While a… Read More


CBInsights published an in-depth, 10,000 word analysis of some of the most popular personal finance apps and how they achieved their massive growth. If you have time, I highly recommend reading the entire piece here, which covers companies like Mint, Acorns, Level Money, and Credit Karma and how they achieved significant adoption through customer acquisition… Read More


Online Consumer Lender Finds Exit Earnest, the online student loan and consumer lending startup, has sold for $155MM in cash to incumbent student loan servicer Navient (formerly part of Sallie Mae). A $155MM exit is better value realization than most online lending startups have seen, especially given that Earnest was launched in 2014. However, the… Read More


Goldman Sachs fintech strategy teardown Fantastic in-depth teardown of Goldman Sachs’ fintech strategy by CBInsights. Highlights: Goldman built Marcus, their online consumer lending arm, in just twelve months, and lent over $1 billion in the first 8 months in operation; current job postings include a role for building a robo-advisor; Goldman has $12 billion in… Read More


Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika was interviewed on the main stage of Finovate two weeks ago. Keith has been in this role since the beginning of May, and immediately got to work when the state of New York sued the OCC the week after he took his post. The lawsuit was in response… Read More


I spent four days last week at the Finovate conference in New York, which is one of the largest fintech conferences in the country. With over 70 companies presenting in seven minute segments, Finovate provides a great look into the pulse of fintech. As I reviewed the changes over the last few years, some trends… Read More


Coinbase capitalizes on crypto-surge Cryptocurrencies have been on a rocketship this year. Bitcoin had briefly hit $1,000 at the end of 2013, and then spent 3 years trying to recover from a huge decline. It ended 2016 priced at just under $1,000, but has more than tripled to $3,400 so far this year. The same… Read More


Banks push back against SoFi bank charter… Well that escalated quickly. After reports that SoFi had applied for an industrial loan company (ILC) bank charter in Utah, industry trade groups pushed for the FDIC to reject the application. The ICBA (Independent Community Bankers of America) positioned the ILC charter as a loophole and argues that… Read More


Must have been a slow news day… The team at Precision Lender invited me on their Purposeful Banker podcast to discuss an article I wrote about creating more authentic (and customer-centric) value propositions for banks. You can listen to the interview here. Leveraging the Value Chain, part 3 This is the last installment in a… Read More