Articles by: JJ Hornblass

Wells Fargo Just Kicked Innovation in the Chin

Wells Fargo Just Kicked Innovation in the Chin

by September 19, 2016 at 10:03 am 0 comments

It is always doubly upsetting to see vulgar business behavior from a seemingly platinum-plated brand. We have certainly been among those that have lauded Wells Fargo & Co. in the past, praising its lab and innovation practices, its mobile banking growth, had its executives speaking at our events, and even namedRead More

Why Vantiv Loves Pizza

Why Vantiv Loves Pizza

by September 13, 2016 at 11:07 am 0 comments

Last week, Vantiv Inc. secured a significant card processing deal. And the payments industry barely noticed. It should have. Vantiv, based in Cincinnati, scored the processing business of Papa John’s International Inc., the fourth-largest pizza store chain in the nation. But Vantiv didn’t just secure the payments volume in its 3,300 stores.Read More

Hot Insurance Startup Trov to Launch in the U.S.

Hot Insurance Startup Trov to Launch in the U.S.

by September 9, 2016 at 10:06 am 0 comments

Trov, an innovative insurance startup from Australia, will launch in the United States before the end of 2017, the company said yesterday. The U.S. launch is being made possible by a deal announced yesterday with Munich Re, the German reinsurance provider. Trov (pronounced Trove — officially, there is macron on topRead More

Credit Karma Hits 60 Million Users, Will Add Mortgages

Credit Karma Hits 60 Million Users, Will Add Mortgages

by September 9, 2016 at 9:37 am 1 comment

Credit Karma now has 60 million users. Yes, that zero is supposed to be there. And the company, which gives out free credit scores and generates revenue from selling lending leads, is adding 1 million to 2 million users — which the company calls “members” — per month, a Credit Karma official told anRead More

Is Y Combinator Pivoting Away From Fintech?

Is Y Combinator Pivoting Away From Fintech?

by August 23, 2016 at 10:09 am 1 comment

Fintech seems to have lost some appeal at Y Combinator. Arguably Silicon Valley’s top incubator yesterday hosted Day 1 of its Summer 2016 Demo Day, and the percentage of fintech startups dropped noticably compared to its winter lot. Last March, around 10% of Y Combinator startups focused on fintech. Yesterday, only two ofRead More

Amex Shoots Down OptBlue Rumor

Amex Shoots Down OptBlue Rumor

by August 11, 2016 at 4:33 pm 2 comments

American Express today dispelled market rumors that it would expand its OptBlue program. The program, launched in May 2014, allows merchants who charge less than $1 million a year through American Express, to use one of 18 merchant processors to secure a lower discount rate. Market participants tell Bank InnovationRead More

Innovation Helps EverBank Score a Higher Acquisition Multiple

Innovation Helps EverBank Score a Higher Acquisition Multiple

by August 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm 0 comments

EverBank Financial Corp. today scored a valuation multiple of nearly 22x earnings in its sale to TIAA. No wonder the EverBank executive team said it was “excited” about the deal. That multiple (21.67x to be exact) will translate into a sale price of about $2.5 billion, when the deal finally closes, mostRead More

Bank of America Doubles Down on Credit Scores

Bank of America Doubles Down on Credit Scores

by July 28, 2016 at 11:21 am 1 comment

Bank of America last Tuesday introduced version 7.0.0 of its iPhone mobile app, and it was noteworthy largely because of one new feature: it gives consumers access to their credit scores. Bank of America is believed to be one of the few financial institutions to offer consumers unfettered access to their creditRead More

Silicon Valley Bank Building Out Payments Services

Silicon Valley Bank Building Out Payments Services

by July 25, 2016 at 11:17 am 0 comments

Watch out payments industry, Silicon Valley Bank is coming. The bank for startups — officially named SVB Financial Group — said last Friday that it was boning up its payments infrastructure and services by “leveraging strategic partnerships to offer scalable and sustainable payment solutions to our clients, at every stage ofRead More

Tech Spending at Amex Continues to Climb

Tech Spending at Amex Continues to Climb

by July 21, 2016 at 12:14 pm 1 comment

While the headline out of American Express‘s earnings yesterday was the $1 billion of gain from the sale of its Costco Wholesale Corp. credit portfolio, the underlying story — at least from an innovation perspective — was the continued increase in technology spending at the payments giant. Amex records itsRead More