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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.






Episode 495: Legal implications of AI

In This Episode Society has grown more complex and polarized, with this comes an increased likelihood of complicated disputes. How is the legal industry evolving to deal with a hyper connected society? Dr. Cain Elliott, Head Legal Futurist, Filevine and advisor to chatbot and generative AI platforms connects with The Futurists hosts Robert Tercek and Brian Solis to delve into the legal issues around AI, not only regulatory but inside corporations with respect to how AI should be managed. With the profession digitizing to move faster and operate more efficiently, AI will have a significant impact from automation of legal functions to smart contracts. Listen as they cover the broken business model of legal services, the political and regulatory barriers to change and the transformative potential of legal tech.


Episode 494: Regional Spotlights: South Africa & LatAm Making Strides

In This Episode This episode begins with a special Breaking Banks mashup as Brett King and Breaking Banks Europe's Matteo Rizzi connect with Andres Perez, Co-Founder and Director, Fintech Association of South Africa, a young non-profit born from the race to digitization, not a battle between banks and fintechs. The three year old association is dedicated to promoting and supporting the growth and development of fintech in South Africa, and is enjoying nice traction. A population of 43 million, South Africa is in a unique position with 96% of its population financially included. Recent investments and strong support indicate that there's opportunity to be had in South Africa's unique ecosystem. is helping champion responsible innovation, and the ability to make more of an impact through collaboration. while developing and upholding best practices and standards that prioritize consumer needs and data privacy. Then Brett turns the focus to LatAm with a model problem that will be increasingly looked at around the world as he speaks with Yoel Gavlovski, CEO and Co-Founder,, a Miami-based startup and Fintech Americas winner that is focused on an alternative approach for credit scoring and lending targeted to emerging economies. For financial institutions seeking to increase credit origination to the underserved who have thin credit files, or low to no credit reference information, is finding different ways to get more information on clients, transforming data and using advanced analytics to turn these clients into low risk creditworthy borrowers. Prediction as a Service, adding capacity for FI's for better lending, using large learning models, has increased inclusion for many who would previously have been rejected. How's this for a stat: in performance analysis, since implementation, 20% of the people who previously would have been rejected, have now been included with no added risk to the lending institutions.


Episode 493: It’s All About Relationships!

In This Episode Relationships are important, in all aspects of life. The nature of relationships is changing -- trust is a big factor in any relationship. Just like with partnerships one needs to be reliable, consistent, relatable, and credible, and there needs to be interest from all parties. In this episode, Brennan Andrews, Marketing Director, Dart Bank and James White, General Manager, Banking, Total Expert speak with Jason Henrichs about relationships in banking. They touch upon how during this downturn banks may need to rely on things like relationship lending & pricing to keep customers loyal. What is old is new again. Banks need to get back to building strong relationships with their customers, a solid relationship can be a competitive advantage and knowing your customer makes it easier to provide personalized financial wellness. It's time to be proactive and predictive, unlocking the power of data to rethink value and how best to deliver it. It's back to basics and competing on more than just rate. Personalization, if wrong can be worse than doing nothing, it all comes down to solid relationships! Then, vendors can be great partners, an opportunity for financial institutions is the optimization of these relationships. In our second half, Jason connects with Cyrene Wilke, Horicon Bank's CIO and Patricks Sells, True Digital Co-Founder on the topic of vendor selection and partnerships. You may be surprised to hear that success is not always about picking the right partner, sometimes it's as simple as progress over perfection as no one benefits from analysis paralysis. Traction is good. Risk and compliance do of course factor into vendor selection. Banks need to be innovative, but aware of the rules. You can do great things but need to do it in a safe manner. The number of vendors banks work with, transactionally and symbiotically, adds to complexity, but the network effect can be beneficial as banks aim for best in breed and look to approach things from different perspectives. Relationships are key and banks also need to collaborate and learn from each other. It's a delicate dance.


Episode 492: London Bridges & VC Now

In This Episode This special episode of Breaking Banks begins with a mashup interview with the new Lord Mayor of London, Nicholas Lyons, Brett King and Emerge Everywhere host Jennifer Tescher. The Lord Mayor of London is the mayor of the City of London and the leader of the City of London Corporation, a municipal governing body covering the historic center of London and the location of much of the United Kingdom's financial sector. As ambassador for the UK's Financial & Professional Services, and accorded precedence over all individuals except the sovereign, he retains traditional powers, rights and privileges, and some ceremonial duties. Look for the Lord Mayor of London at the coronation of King Charles III. As a top global financial center, The Lord Mayor of London wants to help companies grow, scale, and stay in London and the UK. With London's fintech success, he's focusing on tech innovation across the board -- green tech, biotech, life sciences, renewable tech -- encouraging start-ups and looking to create more investment from the UK system as well as access to funding. He's thinking 30 years ahead, framing options for the growth economy, and looking at the painful divide in society and widening gap in numeracy, financial literacy and financial inclusion -- initiatives he's working hard to address in his mayoralty. Part of the answer lies in fintech, with London all about building bridges and partnerships. Then Brett continues the investment theme with a conversation with Alex Sion, Managing Director, Motive Partners, mentor of hundreds of start-ups and lecturer on innovation, fintech and digital strategy having co-founded a neobank himself and having led innovation efforts at Citi and JP Morgan Chase. They discuss current challenges for banking and what has happened in the startup world particularly in fintech where Silicon Valley Bank was a big supporter and validator, and what the next chapter looks like. It’s all things fintech from a VC perspective.


Episode 491: Connections: Open Payments for Urban Transportation & FaaS

In This Episode How many closed loop city transit cards do you have lying around? If you are a traveller you have lots of these souvenirs as every city has its own transit card or way of doing things, Can open payments and better payment systems improve public transportation and bring the unbanked into the financial ecosystem? Aaron Klein, Senior Fellow, Policy Director, Center for Regulation and Markets, Brookings Institute, not to mention former US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and US Dept of the Treasury, and Gillian Gillett, Program Manager, California Integrated Mobility, California Dept of Transportation (CADOT) think so. Listen as they share latest research and interesting insights, to include California's adoption of new payment rails for urban transport, with host Brett King. The faster the payment, the faster we move, with implications for EVs and business. Digital inclusion remains important as is reforming how we charge for micropayments. Our connect theme continues as we look at Fintech as a Service (FaaS) and Brett catches up with NayaOne, CEO, Karan Jain, former Westpac exec. NayaOne is helping transform how banks bring new products to market. They need only 'Connect Once' as the platform enables FI's, fintechs, regulators, and industry bodies to collaborate with a pre-vetted fintech marketplace. A 2020 PwC global study showed that 75% of banks are investing in developing a more customer-focused business model by collaborating with fintechs. Banks want these partnerships, but not everyone realizes innovation the same way. Banks need to be fintech friendly and ready. Culture is important and action needs to match words if banks want to be at the leading edge and make an impact for their customers.


Episode 490: What’s Next for Software-led Payments & Go Big or Go Home

In This Episode Today's episode checks in on the embedded finance story, how software platforms are embedding payments and financial services into their software offerings. Listen as Brett King speaks with Becky Kopplin, Payment Strategist and Product Leader at Qualis Partners and Matt Downs, Group President, Worldpay for Platforms, FIS about what software-led, embedded payments are and how they compare with other integrated payment models. The trio cover the difference between embedded finance and embedded payments and how they affect banks, how cloud business management platforms make deeper payment workflows so attractive and where trends will take us next. The ability to offer embedded payments in context and at the moment when you need it, making it as easy as possible are key elements of success (and experience), and will help banks become increasingly more relevant in this digital age. Brett closes by interviewing New York Times best-selling author Diana Kander about her latest book, Go Big or Go Home. In today's hyper competitive and rapidly changing world, to succeed Kander and co-author Tucker Trotter suggest creating memorable experiences to help you land business and to ensure you are not instantly forgettable and regretfully mediocre. Whether a start up, established brand, or something in between, thoughts will be provoked. For more information, visit


Episode 489: Artificial Intelligence Can Create Real Liabilities for Leaders & Can ChatGPT Speak Bank

In This Episode Artificial intelligence offers both risks and rewards for business leaders. On the one hand, AI has the potential to improve business operations, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and drive innovation. AI can be used to automate repetitive tasks, analyze vast amounts of data, and provide valuable insights that can inform strategic decision-making. However, there are also risks associated with AI, such as the potential for biased or inaccurate decision-making, the possibility of job displacement, and concerns around data privacy and security. Leaders must carefully consider these risks and rewards when implementing AI in their organizations and ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to mitigate potential negative impacts. Is there more to it than that? After all, that introduction was actually written by the AI-powered chatbot called ChatGPT, so maybe it had some built-in bias. To dig deeper host JP Nicols speaks with a human, Al Cowger, who is an attorney and author of the book One Nation Under Algorithms: The Threats of Algorithms and AI to Civil Rights, Legal Remedies, and American Jurisprudence. Al has a new article coming out in a technology journal at Case Western Reserve University entitled Corporate Fiduciary Duty in the Age of Algorithms, where he looks at the growing use of algorithms and artificial intelligence and the potential threats and new liabilities they may create for business managers and board members. In our second half, the promise of conversational AI has so far been a disappointing series of chatbots helping banks reduce cost but doing little to inspire customers or improve the service experience. Can ChatGPT help the sector do better? Breaking Banks Asia Pacific hosts Rachel Williamson and Simon Spencer, resident AI expert, tackle the subject, ask ChatGPT, and offer a use case of a Singapore-based insurtech firm that is using big data and AI to help deliver their products.


Episode 487: Finding Your Feet On Ground That’s Constantly Shifting: The 2023 Global Innovation Report

In This Episode No matter your sector, innovation is transforming the financial world. The impact is hitting fast and hard. At times, innovation may seem like a nice to have, especially in an uncertain market environment, but it’s clear that innovation is having a significant impact on businesses around the world. In today's episode of Breaking Banks, host Brett King speaks with Melissa Cullen, Global Head of Strategy, Product and Commercialization at FIS Banking Solutions; and Tony Warren, Global Head of Strategy and Solutions Management at FIS Capital Markets Solutions about findings from FIS' 2023 Global Innovation Report. Listen as they discuss what the world's leading financial institutions and companies think about Embedded Finance, ESG and DeFi, as well as implications of Generative AI. Innovations are appearing faster than ever. With so much disruption -- and opportunity -- the industry must be all the more agile to turn the change to their advantage. Shownotes: The full report can be accessed here:


Episode 488: Deposits: Hot or Not

In This Episode It's another spicy episode of Breaking Banks featuring Jason Henrichs and custom hot sauce fans Kiah Haslett, Managing Editor, Bank Director and Alex Johnson, Creator, Fintech Takes. The three are back at it and always game for taste testing and discussing hot issues in financial services. Along with the sauce, we offer an entire episode onDeposits. Are they hot or not!? Every bank wants and needs deposits, there are several types of deposits, some riskier than others. Banks need to update deposit strategies and determine their value proposition. With tech making it easy to move deposits, and every bank competing for them, lack of strategy can be dangerous. Deposit strategy and betas are coming up in discussion around SVB andSilvergate...deposit strategy, it’s something every institution needs to think about. Enjoy the deep dive!


Episode 486: The Future as Seen at SXSW & Successful Strides in Financial Inclusion

In This Episode Today's special episode of Breaking Banks comes to you live from Fintech House @SXSW. Listen as guest host Dara Tarkowski, Managing Partner, Actuate Law and host of Breaking Banks' sister podcast Tech on Reg speaks with Mike Bechtel, Chief Futurist at Deloitte Consulting and David Reiling, Chairman and CEO, Sunrise Banks; Author, Fintech for Good; and host of's NextGen Banker. These are wild times, it helps to have a futurist with a background in anthropology to put things in perspective. Where are the opportunities in evolving technology, what's hype and nonsense? At times we are so busy wondering if we can do something, that we don't always think if we should. Intentionality and mindfulness are good things, and mild chaos is where opportunity lies, where niches and new angles can be discovered. In 2013 there were 2.7 billion unbanked people in the world. Today the number stands at 1.3 billion. Huge strides have been made in the last decade vs. the last hundred years. Listen as Brett King connects with Kosta Peric, Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the second half of the show. It's important for everyone to be part of the economy -- an economy that includes everyone benefits everyone. Listen as they discuss global advances in banking and payments, digital public infrastructure, and the importance of mobile wallets and identity. Game changing innovation at work!


Episode 485: Canaries in the Banking Coal Mine?

The banking industry is entering a perilous new phase, and new developments are happening quickly so we’re dropping this episode early. The second largest bank failure in history came suddenly with Silicon Valley Bank being shut down by regulators on March 10. This comes just two days after Silvergate bank announced it was closing “voluntarily”. Joining our resident recovering banker and host JP Nicols are Kiah Haslett, managing editor at Bank Director, and John Maxfield principal at Maxfield on Banks, who has written extensively on the history of banking and bank failures. They examine where this all fits in the history of bank closures, why it happened, and where the risks and opportunities are from here. John argues that while scarcity is the primary constraint in most industries, for banking it’s abundance. Was a decade and a half of low to zero interest rates too much of a good thing? What’s the role of Fed interest rate hikes? JP and John debate if banks being too boring is riskier than being too “innovative”, Kiah muses about the role of faster money movement, and she’s ready for more hot wings after all of these hot takes, but we’ll save that for a show that Jason hosts.


Episode 484: FinHealth: All About Fresh

Financial health is a composite of an individual's financial life, whether they are spending, saving, borrowing and planning in ways that enable them to be resilient and pursue opportunities. In today's episode we look at finhealth from a different angle. Listen as Jason Henrichs speaks with two leaders bringing financial health, financial services and healthcare, to the next level. MA-based, non-profit, About Fresh and its Co-Founder and CEO, Josh Trautwein and Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO, Financial Health Network and host of's Emerge Everywhere. Cool things are happening at the intersection of fintech, healthcare and food accessibility all with the goal to provide better health outcomes for everyone. Today we spotlight About Fresh's Fresh Connect, a platform that enables healthcare providers to connect patients to the food they need to be healthy. With the help of a debit card, doctors prescribe free fruits and vegetables. Once enrolled in the program, the debit card enables the patient to purchase produce and healthy items at stores, farmers markets, mobile marts and online where they already shop. HIPAA compliant, the system recognizes eligible healthy foods at checkout, covering the cost. This tech enabled food prescription program is helping to transform patient care, improve health outcomes -- healthcare teams can measure impact via frictionless payment technology --and provide access to healthy foods, overcoming challenges of food deserts and even branch deserts. Good things are happening in FinHealth!


Episode 483: Sneak Peek Finovate Europe

This week on Breaking Banks we feature sister podcast Breaking Banks Europe as they take a sneak peek at Finovate Europe, March 14th and 15th in London. As with other Finovate conferences, get your votes ready! There will be demos aplenty, listen to learn about this year’s enhancements, stellar all-star panels, conference sustainability efforts and different networking opportunities, startup booster and… “HOT OR NOT?” Curious? Breaking Banks Europe host Francesca Aliverti connects with Greg Palmer, VP and Master of Ceremonies, Finovate conferences, not to mention’s Finovate podcast host, and Theodora Lau, Unconventional Ventures, who started her speaking career several years back on the stage at Finovate. Make plans to attend in London....if we don't see you there, make sure to listen here!


Episode 482: The Great Transition & Lessons of History and Hope

The personalization of finance is here. Listen as Brett connects with Emmanuel Daniel about his book "The Great Transition" where Emmanual, founder of The Asian Banker and global thought leader in the future of finance, outlines the transition that the finance industry will go through from its platform stage today into the personalization of finance. Personalization will have a profound effect on how institutions, markets and society will function in the network age. He introduces the term ‘financialization of everything’ to describe how entire economies will interact with cryptocurrencies, blockchain and new trends in gaming to shape the personalization of society. Predicting the future of finance. Then, in 1992, John Hope Bryant brought a bus full of largely White corporate leaders to witness the disinvestment in South Central LA. This was the first big move for Operation HOPE, Inc., a nonprofit that John, Chairman and CEO, founded to empower underserved communities through financial literacy. In this episode from sister podcast Emerge Everywhere, John Hope Bryant and Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO, Financial Health Network, discuss everything he’s learned in the 30 years since that first bus tour – including the importance of financial inclusion and building Black wealth.


Episode 481: MUCH Needed Tool & Financial Fairness

Making lemonade out of a lemon....being sued is not necessarily a bad thing, in this case it spurred the development of a personal financial management tool that is helping many clear debt and learn to budget. Gone are spreadsheets and lessons from our elders on how best to budget. It sometimes takes a village and a community, as users share tips and stories so that everyone wins. Listen as Jason Henrichs connects with Carmen Perez, CEO and Founder, Much, about her journey and inspiration in creating a budgeting app to help others win with money management. Much is changing the way people think about money and helping users take control of their financial journey. Then we spotlight sister podcast NextGen Banker. The digital banking world is no doubt convenient. Delicia Hand wants to make sure it’s fair, too. David Reiling, host of NextGen Banker, speaks with Hand, the director of financial fairness at Consumer Reports, who helped put together a framework that evaluates how well digital financial products are working for consumers. Delicia talks about the framework — which includes principles like privacy, inclusivity and transparency — as well as how working on Capitol Hill during the Great Recession framed her perspective on developing financial policy.


Episode 480: Blueprints For Equitable Outcomes

Dreams becoming reality. This episode spotlights champions leading the way forward towards an inclusive financial ecosystem for the Black community. In the first segment, Jason Henrichs connects with Kenya McKnight-Ahad, the CEO and Founder of Black Women's Wealth Alliance, BWWA. BWWA resulted from combining Kenya's background in economic development with her desire to engage with Black women about how to empower themselves financially. Kenya's focus on improving the lives of others by illuminating and encouraging the creation of generational wealth, as well as her passion for entrepreneurism and community building, has created health & wellness opportunities for Black women, providing wealth education, business support services, small grant program, career services, and a building, ZaRah where Black women can flourish. Kenya worked with Mary Stoick, SVP Director of Tax Credit Lending, Sunrise Banks to make ZaRah happen. Sunrise Banks is truly more than just a bank, it helps in fulfilling dreams. BWWA is well on its way with its new incubator space and furthering of Black community building. Then meet Damon Jenkins, SVP and Regional Market President, Twin Cities for First Independence Bank and Bryan Toft, CRO, Sunrise Banks. First Independence Bank's mission is to deliver financial services with an affinity for under-served and minority communities, and Sunrise Banks is focused on creating financial empowerment for all as a socially-responsible community bank. Together they discuss how banks have fallen short of true inclusivity. Banks need to be close to their community and not tone deaf to how their practices affect the people they serve. The trust gap is real and everyone's experiences are different. Connection is important for trust, banks need to both meet people where they are and do a better job communicating how banking can be beneficial for building wealth. In building cultures of inclusivity, there is the need to understand the issues, problems and how best to solve them, this is important inside the bank and out. Social responsibility and banking on values can create partnerships, opportunities to combine resources and help more people faster, creating systemic change, building futures and equitable outcomes, The future of Black finance is bright.


Episode 479: Fintech Musings From The Firepit

Live from AOBA (Acquire or Be Acquired Conference)! As bank leadership and executives focus on strategy & growth, explore paths to creating more value and the evolving competitive landscape, Jason Henrichs, Alex Johnson and Mary Wisniewski take time out to gather around the firepit to problem solve and offer up some spicy takes and take-outs. Banking is complex, redflag those that don't recognize that. Competition, economic challenges and friction can garner results, leading to business opportunities and new business models for those looking to differentiate and innovate. As banks continue to fight for deposits, the trio cover fintech partnerships, affinity groups, fees - those that cost and the idea of subscription, debt - both a trap and tool, and how some critical parts of banking are just plain squishy!


Episode 478: Jack Be Nimble in Skinny Jeans & Meet Breaking Banks APAC

In This Episode Rising competition, changing customer expectations, and the fight for talent are top of mind these days. With possible regulatory changes and economic fluctuations, it’s essential that banks remain focused and agile. Brett King, Jason Henrichs, James White, Banking Industry Principal, Total Expert, and Ron Shevlin, Chief Research Officer, Cornerstone Advisors and Forbes' Fintech Snark Tank author engage in a lively discussion on the value of agility in banking. Tomorrow’s winners will be proactive, finding innovative ways to remain nimble, to make sure that their financial institution stays on the right track. Then meet Breaking Banks' newest sister podcast, Breaking Banks Asia Pacific and host Rachel Williamson as she looks at open banking in India. Open banking is opening the door for millions of people to take part in the formal banking sector, be it an individual opening a bank account or a small business getting a loan. Rachel and Smita Aggarwal, Global Investments Advisor, Flourish Ventures, with 30+ years experience as a banker with some of India's biggest banks, discuss how new business models are being built in a region of empowered citizens who are more data rich than economically rich. #opportunity #financialinclusion


Episode 477: Breaking Traditions & Future of Money and Identity

The U.S. can be a tough and complex regulatory environment. Listen as Brett catches up with Peter Hazlehurst, Co-Founder and CEO, Synctera. Peter's background with Uber Money, consumer payments at Google and experience creating financial products for banks, fintechs, and large tech companies has helped create an end to end platform to enable fintech builders to create products with embedded banking and card issuance. Aside from the need for regulatory clarity, they cover KYC, global identity verification and portability (can Apple and Google help?) and some interesting specialized neobanks. Then, Brett King and his The Futurists co-host Robert Tercek, connect with payment tech expert David Birch, author of “Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin”, "The Currency Cold War", and "Identity is the New Money" about all things identity and digital all gets very interesting indeed!


Episode 476: Bank Mergers in the Garden of Good and Evil

In this Episode: As the costs of meeting customer expectations and competitive pressures continue to rise, more banks are considering mergers and acquisitions to gain scale and stay relevant, but there are deep structural regulatory constraints that can often be an impediment. Everything from the way geographic boundaries are defined, to the way competition is measured to the way products and services are evaluated have mid-twentieth century origins that don’t seem well-suited for today’s financial services landscape. As we lead up to Bank Director’s Acquire or Be Acquired (AOBA) conference, Kiah Haslett, Managing Editor for Bank Director magazine, joins us to walk through some of the increasingly outdated modes of analysis, some of the ways regulators are planning updates, and what “good” and “bad” mergers look like. We also debate whether it’s all enough to achieve the stated goals of maintaining competitive markets for the good of the public, and Kiah draws on her experience as a soccer referee to show a few yellow cards to the industry.