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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 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.


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:


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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!


Episode 525: Attention Hacking

In This Episode Should you increase your social media savviness to sell products? With digital acquisition reshaping financial services it's certainly something to think about for your organization's benefit. In this episode, host Brett King speaks with Dr. Robin Kiera, Founder and CEO, Digitalscouting about his book, Attention Hacking: The Power of Social Media Selling in Insurance and Finance. Listen as Dr. Kiera delves into the topic and shares industry examples, opportunities and his belief that you need to position yourself and your organization as influencers among your target market. The premise is simple, you need to be where your customer is.


Episode 524: Identity

In This Episode Identity, and the future of it, continues to be a hot topic as digital adoption increases in all aspects of our lives. When you are verifying your identity, you want to do it with as little friction as possible and expect it to be fast, secure and compliant. In this episode, host JP Nicols speaks with Incode Technologies' Domingo Guerra, EVP of Trust, and industry veteran with a strong background in cybersecurity and data privacy, about the latest innovations in verifying identity. User expectations are bigger than ever. Positive user experiences and biometric acceptance can make what once seemed scary less so, but are all biometrics created equal?


Episode 523: New Landscapes in Innovation from the Land of Fire and Ice

In This Episode Iceland is a small country doing big things in fintech, but also in healthtech, renewable energy, gaming, and the ocean-based blue economy. Few countries fared worse during the 2008 global economic crisis, which had a profound impact on the country’s financial system, currency, and overall economy. The economy gradually recovered, and by the 2010s, Iceland experienced steady economic growth. Today Iceland has a high standard of living. Its citizens enjoy access to quality healthcare and education with a relatively low level of income inequality, and it is the global leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. JP Nicols visited Reykjavik to meet with some of the people innovating to drive these outcomes, including the country’s First Lady who is proud of her country’s achievements, yet declares that “good enough, is not good enough”.


Episode 522: The Next Era of Banking

In This Episode Does financial services ever have an off-season? Is now the time to update your playbook? . Today, host JP Nicols tackles a few of these questions and then speaks with James Anderson, Paze's Managing Director, about a new launch on track for early next year. Paze is a new digital bank wallet from Early Warning Services, the fintech company that brought us Zelle several years ago and is owned by some of the largest banks in the US. A completely separate venture focused on e-commerce payments, Paze no doubt benefits from learnings in creating Zelle. The US payments world is complicated, Paze aims to be ubiquitous on both consumer and merchant sides, the piece in the middle connecting financial institutions, providing better outcomes, and making purchases more convenient and secure. Launching with more than 1,000 banks, Paze is 100% online payments focused, offered by participating banks and credit unions, built to simplify and secure checkout by tokenizing credit and debit card numbers so users never have to enter card data, usernames or remember passwords. A new product, a new year and the next era of banking just around the corner.


Episode 521: Fintech Visionaries Reimagining the Future: UAE & Informed Credit Decisions

In This Episode This week we begin our episode with the third in our special series on fintech visionaries reimagining the future of finance. Brett King is joined by Jayesh Patel, CEO of Wio Bank, and Thomas Kuncheria, EEMEA Senior Vice President for Advisors Client Services at Mastercard. Wio, the UAE's first platform bank with a mission to transform banking in its region, is focusing on three core capabilities -- digital banking applications, embedded finance and BaaS. Through partnership with Mastercard, Wio is helping customers thrive in this digital world, offering personalized features and seamlessly integrated services with a goal to make banking simple, transparent and secure, offering customers access to tools to manage their finances effortlessly and at lower cost than other alternatives. It's another interesting piece in the series spotlighting the benefits of partnership and empowering partners to disrupt and revolutionize. Then, are non-traditional loan underwriting criteria -- i.e. market, environmental, community data -- important when painting a picture of a SMB loan applicant? JP Nicols speaks with serial entrepreneur Ron Benegbi, Founder & CEO of Uplinq Financial Technologies who believes so, and whose latest venture, a global credit assessment platform for SMB lenders, has built, in part taking a page from his own personal story. a platform to empower lenders to distill different kinds of data and information for credit decisioning that might enable SMB lenders to approve and manage risk on loans that they might have otherwise declined based on traditional loan underwriting criteria.


Episode 520: New Perspectives: Rise Up & Amplify and B2C Aids B2B

In This Episode Opening Minds and changing legacy behaviors can be challenging. This week JP Nicols connects with Jim Perry, Senior Strategist, Market Insights about new perspectives young cohorts bring to money in the digital age, not just in practice but in ways the industry can better align its leadership with today's general demographics. Rechanneling, retooling and meeting customers where they are today, to better represent our ecosystem, across the entire spectrum, can make for a more engaged workforce and help financial institutions stay relevant. By setting the bar where it needs to be, bringing value through DEI and sharing different perspectives, financial institutions can also increase stickiness in customer relationships. Then, JP continues the thread of new perspectives and ways of doing things in his recent conversation with Brandon Spear, CEO, TreviPay. When it comes to trade credit for business customers, and the associated complexity that is inherent in the B2B space with multiple stakeholders, applying some B2C principles to B2B can make for a better payment experience, easing and expediting business across geographies, systems and risk profiles.


Episode 519: Fintech Turkeys and Banking Thanks

In This Episode Want to wow your family over the holidays with your fintech and banking knowledge? We offer a helpful primer for Thanksgiving table conversations as Breaking Banks' Jason Henrichs gathers with industry notables and friends Kiah Haslett, Bank Director; Alex Johnson. Fintech Takes; Jason Mikula, Fintech Business Weekly; and Mary Wisniewski, Cornerstone Advisors to talk banking turkey, give thanks, and share the nerd things they'll be talking about around their dinner tables. Happy Thanksgiving from Breaking Banks!


Episode 518: Gigantic Data Puzzles: Open Banking US & Cannabis Banking — Spicy Hot!

In This Episode Regulators are bringing it, market pressures are adding to it and Jason Henrichs and Alex Johnson are jumping right in on Open Banking US with the Ghost Pepper hot sauce. Listen as the dynamic duo decipher the proposed 1033 ruling from CFPB, what it means for financial institutions and consumers, who owns transaction data, how it can be used, and how the sharing of data lakes would enable mutual relationships and better financial decisions. Efforts are underway to bring clarity to the market and while Open Banking US applies to financial institutions, it will also affect big tech with all the data and information they have on us (i.e. Amazon and Apple), and anyone who offers a credit card and digital wallet. How does BNPL fit into the mix? It's another hot take from Breaking Banks. Then, JP Nicols interviews Kevin Hart, CEO of Green Check, about the challenges for banks and credit unions to compliantly and profitably serve cannabis-related businesses (CRBs). Cannabis is legal in nearly half the states, so CRBs have lots of dollars looking for a home, and are popping up in more and more locations. Cannabis is not legal at the federal level, so banking these businesses involves understanding sticky details in licensing requirements, state guidelines, and state specific programs the require extensive monitoring.


Episode 517: Expectations vs. Reality: Latest Global Findings for Financial Services & Digital Identity

In This Episode This week join Brett King as he discusses the latest research from a newly released study on expectations vs reality in financial services. It's an enlightening conversation with DeAndre Jones, Chief Client Officer, FIS Banking Solutions and John Stuckey, Senior Director, Product, FIS Retail Solutions exploring the priorities of consumers when choosing financial services providers, the priorities of financial services executives in where they are investing for future innovation, and the points of alignment and misalignment between the two populations. Then we learn how Clear is expanding beyond the airport and into fintech, just to be 'clear' airports are where they proved out their thesis around secure identity and what it does to unlock experiences, now they are bringing learnings into the digital space. Digital identity is a hot topic, and financial services is a great space in which to play. It's an interesting segment with host JP Nicols and Derek Gottfrid, Chief Product Officer, there's definitely a 'clear' opportunity (sorry, couldn't resist) in financial services. Enjoy the episode!


Episode 516: Open Banking: Forging Ahead With Data & Themes from M20/20 ’23

In This Episode Join Jason Henrichs as he speaks with Matt Wilcox, President, Digital Payments and Data Aggregation, Fiserv; Raja Chakravorti, Universal Access Lead, Plaid and Aly Yarris, Financial Access, Partnerships at Plaid about Open Banking today, how banks might want to approach it. Our guests give a quick lay of the land in digital finance right now, talking about data, data sharing and privacy, ownership, the importance of secure connectivity, access points and APIs, Addressing growing consumer demand to access their financial information when, where and how they want, Fiserv and Plaid recently announced an agreement to enable secure connectivity to allow consumers to do just that -- share their financial information with the third-party financial apps and services of their choice working with established connections and key infrastructure. It's an informative segment with relevancy for banks of all sizes. Then JP Nicols connects with Scarlett Sieber, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer at M20/20 to talk about themes and highlights from this year's gathering. The duo, and the event, cover a wide range of topics from AI (no surprise!) to RegTech,specifically Open or Connected Banking under the CFPBs 1033, Digital Wallets and Small Business Payments while touching upon keynotes and fireside chats with Regulators, ex-Regulators and Senators. Another epic event! Be sure to move this episode to the top of your list!


Episode 515: Fintech Visionaries Reimagining The Future of Finance; Part 2 Latam & then Payments in Kazakhstan

In This Episode This week we feature the second of a three part series focusing on fintech visionaries reimagining the future of finance. In today's first segment, Brett King and JP Nicols are joined by Solana Cozzo, Head of Mastercard Advisors Business Development for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Mariana Franza, Chief Operating Officer at Ualá. Ualá, an Argentine fintech company, partnered with Mastercard to offer users an innovative and integrated digital experience with convenient and lower-cost services than other alternatives. Argentina has a large unbanked and underbanked population, and Uala has quite a story to tell with 5.5 million customers in 5 years and the ability to meet customers where they are and how they want to engage. It's another interesting segment in the series spotlighting the benefits of partnership and empowering partners to disrupt, revolutionize and grow with agility and speed where there is need. Smart decisions with positive outcomes. Then we travel with Brett to Kazakhstan, the ninth largest country in the world, to hear from one of their fintechs, Wooppay, and its Chief Compliance Officer, Yuliya Salekhova about what Wooppay is doing to drive innovation forward in the country. The first in mobile financial services in Kazakhstan, Wooppay has an unique place and story. Listen as Brett and Yuliya discuss Wooppay's wallet ecosystem and the future of payments. Innovators from around the world reimagining the world of finance


Episode 514: By Popular Demand, Hot Takes: Fintech on Fire

In This Episode It's Fintech on Fire, and more Hot Takes from MX's Money Experience Summit in Las Vegas. This episode features three bold panelists eager to tackle hot questions and even hotter wings! For every question and hot take, our panelists Mary Wisniewski, Editor-at-Large, Cornerstone Advisors; Neff Hudson, Trusted Leader in Transformation Change, Castle Hills Consulting, retired USAA veteran (pun intended); and Wes Hummel, CTO, MX will join host, moderator and spice aficionado Jason Henrichs in eating progressively spicier chicken wings. The discussion is hot and the sauces bring out some honest and entertaining reactions. It's another Hot Takes hot session as they look to the future and work up to MXtreme's secret sauce!