Google’s Jigsaw to Tackle Key Banking Challenges

  • JJ Hornblass
  • February 17, 2016
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canstockphoto24396287Google today relaunched its Google Ideas think tank as Jigsaw, a technology incubator, and the new venture has several projects aimed squarely at some of banking’s thorniest issues.

Officially, Jigsaw’s “mission is to use technology to tackle the toughest geopolitical challenges.” But several of those “challenges” confound financial services.

For example, Project Shield is intended to “harness Google’s computing infrastructure to protect independent voices from DDoS attacks” and Password Alert “helps protect against phishing.” In a note announcing the relaunch, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent, said Jigsaw had other initiatives aimed at countering money laundering. Schmidt also wrote:

As a technology incubator, Jigsaw will be investing in and building technology to expand access to information for the world’s most vulnerable populations and to defend against the world’s most challenging security threats.

Check out Jigsaw’s “Digital Attack Map” here. Alphabet [ticker: GOOG] has a market capitalization of about $502 billion.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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