The Dangerous Combination of Banking and Fintech

According to several sources, FinTech is one of the fastest growing segments in Israel’s startup ecosystem. Thomas Beevers’ April 10 Wall Street and Beyond blog post is one of the most insightful analyses of how traditional banks are cozying up to challengers, much like what’s happening in Tel Aviv, with the Citi incubator and Bank Leumi’s catch-up efforts.

Wall Street and Beyond

Everyone, it seems, is starting to take note of the burgeoning “Fintech” scene. Jamie Dimon even specifically referenced the threat from Silicon Valley in yesterday’s letter to shareholders’

“There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking. The ones you read about most are in the lending business, whereby the firms can lend to individuals and small businesses very quickly and – these entities believe – effectively by using Big Data to enhance credit underwriting. They are very good at reducing the “pain points” in that they can make loans in minutes, which might take banks weeks. We are going to work hard to make our services as seamless and competitive as theirs. And we also are completely comfortable with partnering where it makes sense.”

The fact is that banking is a field in which there hasn’t been much innovation…

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