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Breaking Banks


The #1 global fintech radio show and podcast. Every week we explore the personalities, startups, innovators, and industry players driving disruption in financial services; from Incumbents to unicorns, and from the latest cutting edge technology to the people who are using it to help to create a more innovative, inclusive and healthy financial future.


New York, NY




The #1 global fintech radio show and podcast. Every week we explore the personalities, startups, innovators, and industry players driving disruption in financial services; from Incumbents to unicorns, and from the latest cutting edge technology to the people who are using it to help to create a more innovative, inclusive and healthy financial future.





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Episode 544: LatAm Fintech and Payments Boom

In This Episode Brett King connects with industry leaders and influencers Joao Bezerra Leite, 2W Ecobank and former CTO, Banco Itau, and Bruno Diniz, fintech advisor, author, professor, speaker and top 10 influencer in Ibero America for another engaging episode of Breaking Banks about the fintech / payments boom in Brazil and Latin America. The trio focus on several success stories to include Pix pay; NuBank, the reasons NuBank has been so successful; Creditas, and other companies to watch. Can these successes be replicated elsewhere? How might the market react if / when NuBank becomes the largest market cap bank in LatAm? These are just some of the questions the industry veterans tackle in this episode.


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Episode 543: Killing It: The Story Behind the Synapse Story

In This Episode It's another engaging episode from Breaking Banks' new series, Killing It. Host Jason Henrichs shares a candid conversation with Sankaet Pathak, Synapse CEO and Co-Founder, about Synapse's just completed, very public bankruptcy and acquisition that came with highly opinionated social media commentary. Listen as Sankaet shares his personal story as well as a behind the scenes narrative of Synapse's journey, the challenges faced, and what ultimately brought him to the decision to kill Synapse as a stand-alone entity. Sequencing is important. Full Show Transcription [00:00:00] Welcome to Breaking Banks. The number one. Killing it. Killing it. There's often a story behind this story. The explosion of social media, private Slack and WhatsApp groups, newsletters, make it difficult not only to decipher fact, but even put together a cohesive story. Synapse is just completing a very public bankruptcy and acquisition with highly opinionated social media commentary. Sankat Pathak, Synapse's founder and CEO, joins me on this episode to share his side of the story and the journey that brought him to the decision to kill Synapse as a standalone entity. Well, thanks for agreeing to have a difficult if not painful conversation about the last chapters of Synapse's journey as a standalone entity. [00:01:00] Building in public is hard and, you know, finding a soft landing is admirable and difficult enough without public commentary. I guess I should be thankful Twitter didn't have the reach and vitriol in 2014 when we like tried to crash land, you know, Perk Street, same maneuver. I sometimes tell people it's like, we landed the plane. People were definitely on fire. But no one died, right? Um, I'm going to start with, you know, there are some of the experts on X saying, you know, all sorts of things, here's what went wrong. Why don't we start with, what are people getting wrong about the narrative in what transpired with Synapse and the TabaPay acquisition? I think the biggest thing that people don't realize is that We didn't file for bankruptcy, and then somebody bought our assets. Uh, we filed for Chapter 11 because that's what Tapupe wanted, uh, as a safe way to be able to acquire the [00:02:00] asset. Um, because of all the noise around the company, specifically with one of our, uh, Ex customers. Um, uh, It starts with a capital M, maybe? Yeah, Mercury. Yeah. Yeah. Um, that was the core of the reason, but I think a lot of people, uh, and again, like on Twitter, I think the mob mentality is vicious and it's fine. Um, uh, sometimes it's fun. Mostly it's painful, but that's okay. Um, their whole narrative was bankrupt Synapse has its Assets being acquired by TabaPay, but it's kind of the opposite. It's more so the liability piece and sequencing is important, but that's the piece that people missed. Yeah, well, I mean you did have two million dollars of cash still on the balance sheet It's not like you were out of runway, you know There are other maneuvers that you could have executed and I don't think that people really understand That asset purchase agreements are the way that a lot of tech companies are acquired [00:03:00] Just because the acquirers don't want any lurking, you know, calm the iceberg liabilities that you don't even know what they are. And you have some that are above the surface, let alone below the surface, not lurking there in court papers that that's actually way more common to do an asset purchase than people would think. Not always bankruptcy. Right. Yeah. Um, but I think that's an important part of the narrative. Anything else that you'd add that you're like, they're just getting that it's wrong. Well, I think, uh, the piece that people don't ask is why did have to, uh, why did we even have to sell? Yeah. Um, and what is the reason, because of which Synapse had to sell? Is it the market? Is it the bank partners? Is it customer churn?


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Episode 542: Pay by Bank Poised for Growth in the U.S.

In This Episode Pay by bank is gaining momentum in the U.S., it's a natural evolution of how we pay with funds from our bank accounts. What will it take to get more people to use it and what about readiness for different use cases? Listen as host Brett King, Eric Sager, Plaid's COO and Trevor Nies, Adyen's SVP, Global Head of Digital discuss the state of pay by bank, what is driving it in the U.S., the value it delivers, the next segments to adopt, and how key challenges are being overcome to make it good for consumers and for businesses. Will we start seeing pay-by-bank in everyday e-commerce experiences? Listen to our latest episode of Breaking Banks to find out!


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Episode 541: Get in the Game with Embedded Banking

In This Episode Embedded banking is reshaping the industry for those with the right approach. To succeed, banks of all sizes will need a strategy, tools, and technology. Listen as host Brett King connects with Booshan Rengachari, CEO of Finzly, pioneering provider of modern money movement systems to financial institutions, as they uncover the opportunities and keys to success in embedded banking. Attract more corporate banking customers with new advanced features, learn how to handle KYC & KYCC compliance for fintech partnerships, and how open APIs, virtual accounts and ISO 20022 nativity enable embedded banking.


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Episode 540: Real-Time Payments & Consumer Lending

In This Episode Todays’ Breaking Banks spotlights sister podcast Finovate, featuring host Greg Palmer’s recent interviews on the Future of Real-Time Payments with The Clearing House's, Jim Colassano, SVP Product Development & Strategy and a new report on Cost of Living, Lending and Insights from Tink with Jack Spiers, Banking & Lending Director, UK & Ireland. Finovate Spring is around the corner, May 21 - 23, 2024 in San Francisco, CA. Check it out!


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Episode 539: Reflecting on AI’s Risks and Rewards

In This Episode This week on Breaking Banks, we feature an episode from sister podcast EMERGE Everywhere. Is artificial intelligence the key to providing personalized financial advice for all? While companies like Credit Karma are tapping into AI’s vast potential to help customers manage their money, the technology also raises weighty questions about how to use it responsibly. In this episode, Jennifer Tescher, host of EMERGE Everywhere speaks with Credit Karma CEO Ken Lin about how the company has embedded AI into its solutions, the biggest opportunities and challenges right now, and what an AI-enabled future might look like.


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Episode 538: Money Isn’t Everything

In this Episode This week, Jason Henrich connects with Mary Wisniewski to talk about her new podcast, Money Isn't Everything, which will explore unconventional ideas and strategies within the financial services sector. In her biweekly podcast Mary will tap into her passion for uncovering counterintuitive concepts, sharing stories and looking at complexities, gaps and opportunities in our market with focus on the role banks and credit unions play in driving and improving outcomes, The first episode of Money Isn't Everything airs 4/18, catch it on Apple, Spotify or the Cornerstone Advisors website.


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Episode 537: Socially Responsible Credit & Social Currency

In This Episode Giving credit when credit is due is always appreciated and a good thing to do. In this case, it is also a solid base for a fintech, one that is socially responsible and financially inclusive. Meet Kashable's Co-Founder and CEO, Einat Steklov, as she speaks with host Brett King about Kashable making its mark in financial services with low cost loans for employees, those with low or no credit scores. With its data models and ability to create new risk profiles and open up access to credit, Kashable underwrites consumers for unsecured loans based to a large extent on employment information. With Kashable's ability to offer access to low cost credit, economic mobility, as an employee benefit with easy repayment -- embedded financing -- everyone benefits. Then, Breaking Banks is delighted to introduce Social Currency,'s latest podcast powered by Sunrise Banks that will introduce you to some of the most innovative changemakers in finance, tech and ESG, and how they are dismantling barriers and reshaping their industries for a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable future. Spotlighting those at the forefront of positive change through social entrepreneurship, Social Currency unveils the stories behind the revolution that is propelling us toward a world where everyone has equitable access to opportunities. In the first episode, Ahead of the Curve, Strategic Foresight, Tyler Seydel, Chief FinTech Officer at Sunrise Banks and co-host Eric Schurr, Chief Strategy Officer, Sunrise Banks and certified practitioner in strategic foresight, get into just that, Strategic Foresight, how organization can solve market opportunity challenges using provocative questions to look at future challenges in new ways, reimaging opportunities. A planning oriented discipline related to futures studies, you'll be surprised as new tools and this new way of future thinking begins to infiltrate projects and everyday work.


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Episode 536: Breaking the Future

In This Episode SXSW is a safari to the future according to Todder Moning, Lead Futurist at U.S. Bank. But, as Mike Bechtell, Chief Futurist at Deloitte, pointed out in his Fintech House fireside last year: futurists are always wrong. Why attempt to predict the future if you are likely to be wrong? This year Todder and Eric Schurr, Chief Strategy Officer at Sunrise Banks and host of the Social Currency podcast at, have a fireside chat with Dara Tarkowski, Founder of Actuate Law and host of the Tech on Reg podcast, about which rules to break and which to keep when thinking about the future. From large bank to small, both use the tools of Foresight to gain a competitive advantage when thinking about a future, even when it is likely wrong. Listen in to learn how to break out of your current mindset and preconceptions, including Todder's favorite: Future Safaris.


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Episode 535: Money of the Future

In This Episode What happens when two financial futurists get together? They chat about money of the future and related topics worthy of debate. This week, host Brett King connects with Chris Skinner, author, influencer, The Finanser blogger, and advisor to leading organizations, governments and firms across the world to talk about Chris' new book, Intelligent Money, due out this summer. Lots of great banter and thought provoking discussion as they look at cross border payments, smart wallets / super wallets that act as an agent on your behalf, embedded intelligent financial services and payments, and of course AI, to name just a few of the topics they get into. What's your vision for Main Street 2034? Is the need for growth at the heart of some of our problems? Enjoy the debate!


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Episode 534: Space, AI, Climate and Beyond Banking

In This Episode What's your legacy? Host Brett King connects with the 695th Lord Mayor of London, Michael Mainelli, who is the first American born Lord Mayor of London. A scientist, economist and accountant, as well as a self-proclaimed space junkie who studied aerospace at Harvard (fun fact his father was at one time involved with the Apollo capsule for Boeing), the Lord Mayor shares some of the key initiatives that will keep him busy during his mayoralty -- climate change, space debris removal, a smart economy networks project, and most importantly that London is a partner when it comes to solving global problems, it is a solutions center for technology, science, engineering and finance. Then, a new podcast Beyond Banking by CBD Talks! from the Commercial Bank of Dubai. Beyond Banking by CBD Talks! delves into trends that drive the UAE, middle east, and global economies. In the first episodes host Brett King has welcomed phenomenal guests, and covered topics from climate and sustainability to unicorns and the future of money and banking, while spotlighting leaders shaping financial services and the UAE, Frank Bisignano, CEO, Fiserv and Her Excellency Raja Al Mazrouei. Learn about the UAE and other regions by downloading Beyond Banking by CBD Talks! via Amazon, Apple, or Spotify. From digitization to decarbonization, through the evolution of AI, and the advent of smart economies, listen as we foster conversations Beyond Banking, with an eye towards the future.


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Episode 533: Killing It! Acceptance As The Fastest Path Forward

In This Episode In this next episode of our special series, Killing It!, hosts Jason Henrichs and Alex Johnson sit down with Matt Harris, current coach, consultant, advisor and Bloom Credit (credit data solutions) co-founder. Starting a company is hard, at any age, Matt was 22 when he began his journey. It's not just having an idea for your startup, financial backing, energy and good people around you, as most know, it's all the hurdles and discoveries of everything you need to fix and do, that affects your idea, along the way. The journey, and roller coaster, comes with lots of stressors and takes its toll. It can be difficult to step away or step aside. How do you process? How do you separate your identity from the company after investing so much of yourself in it. The founding journey is hard but doesn't have to be. Accept what is. 'Failure' (whatever that may mean, and it's different for everyone) is not the end of the story. This candid discussion is a master class for startup founders; coaching founders, rather than just investing in their businesses, has become an impactful and authentic way for Matt to make even more change in the world.


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Episode 532: M&A and AOBA 2024

In This Episode This week host Jason Henrichs hears about all that he unfortunately missed at Bank Director's annual AOBA (Acquire Or Be Acquired) conference for bank senior leadership from Bank Director rock stars and conference session and track leaders, Emily McCormick, VP of Editorial & Research and Kiah Haslett, Banking & Fintech Editor. They cover it all from banking sector challenges, innovations, and market outlook to enthusiasm for balance sheets (yes!), deposits, and necessity of tech adoption for growth and the future.


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Special Episode: Roadmap for Community Banks and Credit Unions: Turning Data Into Dollars (Web Seminar)

Community banks and credit unions play a critical role in the geographies they serve. But customers and members — the same ones once considered a captive audience — are on the move. Today, everyone faces fierce competition from non-traditional organizations, including digital-first banks, fintechs, mobile payment platforms, and other challengers that are targeting your customers and members. In this episode, host Brett King moderates a panel discussion with industry leaders: Corey LeBlanc, Co-Founder, COO/CTO, Locality Bank; Jim Marous, CEO Digital Banking Report, Host, Banking Transformed and Co-Publisher, The Financial Brand; Lindsey Ogan, Chief Marketing Officer, Stride Bank; Becky Reed, COO, BankSocial and CEO/Founder, BRaaS, LLC and Vikas Sharma, Senior Vice President, EXL. Data is the great equalizer. Don't be left behind in this fast-moving marketplace. Thrive by putting real-time data, powerful analytics and tech insights into action -- transform your organization from reactive to proactive, leverage data as a strategic asset while reducing risk and fight fraud. Community financial institutions have more than enough ammunition to remain relevant. Level the playing field by taking control of your data, enhancing your digital capabilities with an eye toward personalization, for an improved customer and member experience. Actionable insights from peers and community expertsRegister:


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Episode 531: Killing It: A Simple Journey and Lending Without Bias

In This Episode You heard it here last week, a new series from Breaking Banks, 'Killing It' with co hosts Jason Henrichs and Alex Johnson, Fintech Takes. In this first episode we feature a candid discussion with Shamir Karkal, Alliance for Innovation Regulation, Co-founder and CEO of Sila, formerly Co-founder of Simple (BankSimple), America's first neobank which operated 2009 - 2021. A FinTech pioneer, he shares learnings, successes, failures and some of the tough decisions made along his 'simple' journey while reflecting on what it means for him today. Then, Brett King connects with DIVINE, Victor D. Lombard, CEO & Founder, Solvent with tag line, The Future is Freedom. You may remember DIVINE from 2022 when we interviewed him about a venture with AWS' Impact Accelerator. Today he is joined by Brent Chandler, CEO and Eric Lapin, President of FormFree to talk about their new partnership aligned around their missions to empower underserved demographics. The focus is lending, specifically the mortgage space, with new products to help underserved individuals get access to credit and a new two-sided marketplace, FormFree Exchange, connecting lenders and borrowers -- helping credit invisibles get loans and institutions to lend without bias. Tech for good, who doesn't love that!


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Episode 530: Killing It & Investing in the Next Frontier

In This Episode's a new series from Breaking Banks, Killing It, candid discussions with entrepreneurs sharing lessons, failures, successes and some of the tough decisions they had to make. From VCs to unicorns, it's a high stakes game with high rates of failure. Not everything goes up and to the right, and success looks different for everyone -- you can grind away and do all you are supposed to do, and get to the point that you have to deliver terrible news to your cofounder and employees who believed in you. There are lots of stories from awesome people who have been knocked to the mat multiple times and gotten back up. It's not uncommon, but how do you bounce back and what does it take to walk away from it. Listen as hosts Jason Henrichs and Alex Johnson bring these stories to life. Then, investing in the next frontier, we turn to Greg Palmer, host of sister podcast Finovate as he speaks with Tamara Steffens, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters Ventures, about her perspectives on what’s on tap for fintech and the funding ecosystem this year. Enjoy the show!


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Episode 529: Is 2024 the Year That BaaS Goes Boom?

In This Episode Does BaaS go boom, and other predictions and projections for the year. Listen as host Jason Henrichs connects with hot takers Alex Johnson, Fintech Expert & Workweek Creator and Jason Mikula, Managing Director, Fintech Business Weekly about what they've been seeing and what they hope to see in our industry. For those that like analysis they jump into the current state of BaaS, theories on implications for the rest of the year not to mention any projections they think they might need a mulligan for and which are proving true!


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Episode 528: Money in the 21st Century

In This Episode This week on Breaking Banks, Money in the 21st Century, a special episode from sister podcast Breaking Banks Asia Pacific. Listen as Breaking Banks Asia Pacific host Charis Palmer sits down with economist and professor of economics Richard Holden to chat about his new book: Money in the 21st Century and why he believes that the US Fed needs to get going with a 'Fedcoin'. They also cover the global economics of #crypto #cbdcs #mobilemoney and #cheapmoney, and how we’ll all transact in our future cashless world. Enjoy the episode!


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Episode 527: Return to Reality?

In This Episode Excitement over new technologies, new capabilities, new business models, and new companies often turns to hype, but what goes up, must come down. We seem to be working through hype cycles faster and faster, but what’s on the other side is rarely a return to the status quo. In this episode, Simon Taylor, Fintech Brainfood, Jim Marous, The Financial Brand and Theo Lau, Unconventional Ventures join hosts Brett King and JP Nicols to share insights and debate what upward and downward forces will most impact fintech and banking in the next 12 months, and what that new reality looks like.


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Episode 526: Investment in an Age Where Climate is Disrupting the Planet

In This Episode 2023 was the hottest year on record in terms of temperature. ESG, sustainability, clean tech / green tech and corporate responsibility have been hot topics. Are we at war with climate? This week we feature Brett King's recent sit down in Bangkok, Thailand with former banker, fintech investor and now venture capitalist, Paul Ark, with The Radical Fund, an early-stage VC fund investing in founders who are delivering climate resilience for Southeast Asia. Where are investment dollars going? Climate mitigation (how to prevent the world from getting warmer) and climate adaptation (dealing with a warmer world) and what it means for infrastructure resilience and food insecurity, to name some areas of concern, are top of mind. Climate is a complex systemic issue and requires a buffet of technologies to address, improve and help us reclaim our environment. It's an enlightening conversation with The Futurists!