‘Bitcoin and Silicon Valley Startups Are Stealing My Business,’ Says JP Morgan CEO

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by Eugenia Romanenko · 3 min read
‘Bitcoin and Silicon Valley Startups Are Stealing My Business,’ Says JP Morgan CEO
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Recently, JP Morgan Chase & Co. issued its annual letter to shareholders, in which Jamie Dimon, the company’s CEO, spoke about Silicon Valley’s startups as new rivals that are “looking to compete with banks.”

It seems that one of the most powerful banks of the U.S. is worried about Silicon Valley’s startups.

“Silicon Valley is coming,” warns Dimon in 2014 report issued this week by JP Morgan Chase & Co. “There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking.The ones you read about most are in the lending business, whereby the firms can lend to individuals and small businesses very quickly and — these entities believe — effectively by using Big Data to enhance credit underwriting.”

As far as the fintech world is developing fast, lots of brand-new startups try to play against banks offering services that are usually provided by the second ones. Jamie Dimon explains in the letter to shareholders:

“They are very good at reducing the ‘pain points’ in that they can make loans in minutes, which might take banks weeks. We are going to work hard to make our services as seamless and competitive as theirs. And we also are completely comfortable with partnering where it makes sense.”

It’s worth mentioning that JP Morgan is known for its “antagonist moves towards digital currencies.” In 2014, Mr Dimon said that Bitcoin is a competitor, adding that he was ready to rival.

Speaking about the payments industry in general, the bank sees it as “a critical business” where competitors are considered to be able either to endager the future of the bank service or make the bank learn:

“You all have read about Bitcoin, merchants building their own networks, PayPal and PayPal look-alikes. Payments are a critical business for us — and we are quite good at it. But there is much for us to learn in terms of real-time systems, better encryption techniques, and reduction of costs and ‘pain points’ for customers.”

Meanwhile, PayPal, an online payment processing company owned by eBay Inc., announces that merchants registered with the company may now accept payments in bitcoin.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said its platform “supports growth with a variety of value-added services designed to help businesses of all sizes manage their cash flow, invoice clients, pay bills, and reduce the need for merchants to receive and store sensitive customer financial information.”

As for the letter, Dimon also seemed to be annoyed by some applications and other “free riders” that move money free of charge.”Some payments systems, particularly the ACH system controlled by NACHA, cannot function in real time and, worse, are continuously misused by free riders on the system. There is a true cost to allowing people to move money.”

Still, Dimon managed to assure shareholders that JP Morgan will fight:

“Rest assured, we analyze all of our competitors in excruciating detail — so we can learn what they are doing and develop our own strategies accordingly.”

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