No column today – plenty to chew on from last week and the first article below. I promise I’ll back off on the Amazon stories as soon as they stop being so good. Amazon Strategy Teardown As a follow-up from Bezos’ shareholder letter last week, I wanted to share this “Amazon Strategy Teardown” from CB… Read More


Small departure from our normal financial innovation focus, but the below (abridged) shareholder’s letter from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is too good to pass by. It also doesn’t feel too off the mark given the scope and ambition of Amazon’s payments business, including the recently launched Amazon Cash, which allows customers to upload cash to their… Read More


In what has become something of an annual tradition, I wanted to break down portions of Jamie Dimon’s letter to JPMorgan shareholders. This year’s letter started off sounding a little more like Warren Buffett than in previous years, but the most interesting sections (to me) are the responses to the technological changes in the market… Read More


Last month, Tommy Nicholas (co-founder of Alloy) wrote a great article on the need for fintech to innovate on the business model. While it is a short (10 minute) read, I wanted to summarize it here. An aside for you bankers – if you have a need (and you do!) for automated identity verification for… Read More


API watch: Standard Chartered launches new API platform Standard Chartered is the latest bank to roll out an API platform, launching their version last week. While payments companies are better known for their API platforms, banks are catching up. While I always think of BBVA as the banking API leader today, the field is getting… Read More


Yellin’ at Yellen While not technically fintech news, the letter from Rep. Patrick McHenry to Janet Yellen is noticeable for challenging how the Fed has been operating and its activities in the future. McHenry, as the Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has also been outspoken about fintech issues. However, after relating slower economic growth… Read More


Happy Friday! Citi is back with Round 2 of its fintech-focused Digital Disruption report. The first report was released in March 2016 and focused largely on Citi’s thoughts on the changing finserv landscape. The new report issued this month updates those views, and uses the lens of venture capital, including interviews with a few fintech VCs… Read More


A new stealth startup has launched that uses mobile biometric payment technology to deliver robust user-facing optimization, while the near-instant payment paradigm reduces consumer peak currency online netting systems. This is in spite of the fact that challenger investment fragments opportunistic deployment of blockchain digital payments technology. However, the resilience of standalone transactional cloud-based pipes… Read More


Northwestern Mutual gets in on fintech VC The company has launched Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, a $50MM fund that will invest between $500,000 to $3,000,000 in each fintech startup. Rebecca Porter, VP of Corporate Strategy at Northwestern Mutual, will be the chairwoman of the investment committee. Northwestern has some experience in this area, after acquiring… Read More