American Banker Podcast

American Banker Podcast
Thoughtful discussions about current topics, moderated by American Banker editors.

Banks’ culture under scrutiny, even during coronavirus outbreak
Mar 30 • 19 min
Grainne McNamara, financial services principal at Ernst & Young, explains that bank regulators have already been examining banks’ cultures, and that’s likely to continue. But banks can still fix culture problems during a pandemic.
What five years of AI have taught Ally Bank
Mar 24 • 16 min
Anand Talwar, deposits and consumer strategy executive at Ally Bank, and Jody Bhagat, president of the Americas for Personetics, explain how their technology collaboration has evolved from a virtual assistant to customized, real-time “insights” for…
Challenger bank sees app integration as boon for small businesses
Mar 16 • 12 min
NorthOne founder and CEO Eytan Bensoussan explains how unlocking bank data will help entrepreneurs in the future.
Why Citizens Bank got into POS lending
Mar 9 • 28 min
Brendan Coughlin, head of consumer banking, explains how Citizens established its relationships with Apple and Microsoft for point of sale financing and how they’ve evolved.
How ‘old school personal banking’ helped turn Optus Bank around
Mar 2 • 29 min
From 2010 to 2018 the South Carolina bank was on the FDIC’s problem bank list, but in the last two years it has been profitable. Dominik Mjartan, the bank’s president and CEO, explains how technology upgrades and relationship building helped it get…
Is the U.S. payment system fair?
Feb 24 • 23 min
Aaron Klein, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, argues that the setup works well for those with money, but is very expensive for those on the lower end of the spectrum.
‘We want to take the time to get it right’ — Fed’s Montgomery on FedNow
Feb 12 • 24 min
Ken Montgomery, who is heading up the Federal Reserve’s faster payments network, says the agency is taking an incremental approach to launching the service.
Inside BBVA’s banking-as-a-service strategy
Feb 10 • 22 min
The bank is working with fintechs like Digit, Simple and Catch to provide new financial products to people with limited access to banking, says Susan French, head of products in the open platform division.
How robo-adviser Wealthfront is becoming more like a bank
Feb 3 • 17 min
Andy Rachleff, the fintech’s CEO, discusses the digital bank it’s developing and the concept of “self-driving money.”
BNY Mellon’s early adoption of real-time payments paying dividends
Jan 27 • 23 min
The custody bank was one of the first users of The Clearing House’s Real Time Payments network. Andrew Haskell, who oversees the bank’s program, explains how faster payments are helping the bank and its clients.
‘Getting out of the boys’ ecochamber’: Male allies in banking
Jan 20 • 18 min
Doug Nielson at U.S. Bank and Jane Barratt at MX explain how men can be more supportive of their female colleagues.
How does a challenger bank earn customers’ trust? Digit CEO explains
Jan 13 • 20 min
“To wake up one day and assume everyone in America is going to be above average at math and above average rational is crazy,” says Ethan Bloch, whose app is designed to help people achieve financial health.
What embracing agile methods has done for U.S. Bank
Jan 6 • 26 min
Werner Loots, the bank’s first head of transformation, is helping the bank redesign how work is done, then streamlining and digitizing as much as possible.
What will bank jobs look like in the future? OceanFirst has an idea
Dec 16, 2019 • 25 min
Chris Maher, CEO of OceanFirst Financial, shares how employees’ roles have already changed and his bank’s efforts to help them navigate AI and other emerging technologies.
‘Immigration has become a political football’: Border bankers
Dec 10, 2019 • 20 min
Dennis Nixon and Gerry Schwebel at International Bancshares share their views on immigration policy, a border wall and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.
The gaping security holes plaguing real-time payments
Dec 1, 2019 • 30 min
Stephen Lange Ranzini, CEO of University Bank in Ann Arbor, Mich., says The Clearing House’s RTP and Early Warning’s Zelle fail to meet basic requirements for enrollment, encryption of data in transit, and authentication.
‘There’s going to be room for both systems’
Nov 24, 2019 • 29 min
In a sit-down interview, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester discusses how the FedNow real-time payment system will work alongside a big-bank one, and threats to financial stability.
‘We don’t hear people say, I love my bank’
Nov 18, 2019 • 24 min
Bryce VanDiver and Daniela Hawkins at Capco make the case that offering easy-to-use payment rewards is the way to win the loyalty of digital-only customers.
What FICO sees through its window into fraud
Nov 11, 2019 • 14 min
Doug Clare explains how the organization uses artificial intelligence to spot crime rings and skimmers.
‘Wall Street’s ledger systems don’t keep honest track of who owns what’
Nov 4, 2019 • 20 min
Caitlin Long, member of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, explains why the state has enacted 13 blockchain laws and what they mean for fintechs and banks.
Where does Facebook’s digital currency project stand after Zuckerberg testimony?
Oct 28, 2019 • 16 min
American Banker Capitol Hill reporter Neil Haggerty shares how the D.C. community reacted to Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony and how they look at the project now.
Morgan Stanley data chief can relate to veterans’ struggles
Oct 21, 2019 • 21 min
Jeff McMillan, who served in South Korea and is now chief analytics and data officer for wealth management at Morgan Stanley, shares some of the challenges he faced in readjusting to civilian life and how he and his company try to help other veterans.
I don’t think we can ignore digital currency
Oct 15, 2019 • 20 min
Banks shouldn’t let the legal and regulatory hurdles deter them, attorney Felix Shipkevich says.
Are banks losing the brand war to tech firms?
Oct 8, 2019 • 24 min
Futurist Lex Sokolin believes the major tech platforms will keep winning and buying banking products will be like buying generic or branded Aspirin on Amazon.
The trouble with banks’ personal finance tools
Oct 1, 2019 • 17 min
Adoption of money management instruments offered by banks remains low. One expert explains why.
Are customers getting enough control over their data?
Sep 24, 2019 • 19 min
Andres Wolberg-Stok at Citi and Sam Taussig at Kabbage debate openness, privacy, control, and how much say consumers should have over their banking information.
Cash-flow data shows promise as predictor of credit risk
Sep 17, 2019 • 27 min
Melissa Koide, co-founder and CEO of FinRegLab, analyzed loan data from six lenders that use cash-flow data in their underwriting. She shares what she found.
Why this community bank was one of the first to trust voice banking
Sep 10, 2019 • 21 min
Bank Independent in Alabama was one of the first banks to let customers handle basic tasks through Amazon Alexa and plans to go further with the technology. Its digital chief, Kelly Burdette, shares how and why.
How American Express uses machine learning to detect fraud
Sep 3, 2019 • 15 min
Tina Eide, Amex’s senior vice president of global fraud, discusses the card issuer’s efforts to strengthen its transaction monitoring.
Are Americans ready for voice banking?
Aug 27, 2019 • 18 min
Sherry Comes, managing director in conversational AI at Deloitte Consulting, says banking in the future will take place through a home, car or phone speaker.
How CFPB, FCC rules are reshaping debt collection
Aug 20, 2019 • 20 min
Regulatory efforts to protect consumers from harassment and excessive robocalling are drastically changing how banks and third-parties seek payment from consumers. Attorney Quyen Truong at Stroock & Stroock explains what compliance will look…
‘Millennials can see through this’: How banks’ marketing to Gen Y misfires
Aug 13, 2019 • 19 min
April Rudin, CEO of the Rudin Group, offers advice on tailoring marketing to younger audiences and women.
How banks can fend off Amazon and Google
Aug 6, 2019 • 22 min
Banks are right to fear the big tech companies that are eyeing financial services, according to Monish Kumar at Boston Consulting Group, who offers suggestions on how traditional lenders can protect their turf.
‘It should just work’: Why banks need a single standard for data sharing
Jul 30, 2019 • 16 min
Don Cardinal of FDX and Olivier Helleboid of Intuit explain the FDX and OFX standards, how they’re turning them into one standard and what that standard will be able to do for banks.
Karen Mills and the case for open banking
Jul 23, 2019 • 18 min
The former head of the Small Business Administration and current Harvard professor says data sharing can be transformational for banks.
How banks can protect against account takeover
Jul 16, 2019 • 14 min
Trace Fooshee, senior analyst at Aite Group and former head of fraud strategy at SunTrust, explains fraudsters’ latest tactics and the best methods of self-defense.
How MUFG’s ‘digital hybrid’ bank raised $7B in deposits
Jul 9, 2019 • 17 min
Pierre Habis, president of PurePoint Financial, explains how the digital bank and small network of paperless branches are meeting consumers’ needs.
Is facial recognition safe for financial institutions to use?
Jul 2, 2019 • 14 min
Authentication by selfie is becoming more popular in financial services, but the technology has become controversial for its potential for bias. Notre Dame professor Kevin Bowyer explains what his studies of this issue have found.
How Citizens Bank is rethinking mobile and online banking
Jun 25, 2019 • 24 min
Bruce Van Saun, CEO, shares details of the new digital channels the bank is building for consumers and small-business customers.
How HSBC is spending its $17 billion tech budget
Jun 11, 2019 • 39 min
Jeremy Balkin, head of innovation at HSBC Bank USA, shares how the bank is investing in retail innovation, including a $350 million core system.
How Heritage Bank is rolling out its first AI chatbot
Jun 4, 2019 • 21 min
Lincoln Parks, director of marketing at Heritage Bank, explains the bank’s cautious yet forward-thinking approach to its new virtual assistant, and how to avoid social media snafus.
Checking in on Wells Fargo’s digital bank pilot Greenhouse
May 28, 2019 • 20 min
Wells began rolling out its online-bank brand in November. Peggy Mangot, senior vice president and head of Greenhouse development, shares what she’s learned so far.
What does it take to get consumers to switch banks?
May 20, 2019 • 16 min
Only 4% of consumers changed banks last year, according to J.D. Power. Behavioral psychologist Wei Ke explains why consumers are so reluctant to move their accounts and what other banks can do to convince them to switch.
Greed isn’t good enough
May 17, 2019 • 18 min
Changing demographics and cultural trends are making bank CEOs think beyond profitability and toward addressing what they stand for.
Data privacy, AI, regulation: Small-business lending is changing fast
May 14, 2019 • 16 min
The forces reshaping small-business lending are also leading to “a moment of reckoning” for small banks, says Karen Mills, a senior fellow at the Harvard Business School who led the SBA during the Obama administration.
What works, what doesn’t in mobile banking apps
May 6, 2019 • 27 min
Mariel Beasley, co-director of Duke University’s Common Cents Lab, who studies consumers’ financial behavior, says savings “nudges” in apps often fall flat. Here’s why.
How BBVA overhauled its mobile banking app
Apr 29, 2019 • 26 min
Alex Carriles, executive director of mobile, online and digital accounts at BBVA Compass, describes how updates like account aggregation and expense analysis have helped increase use of its app.
BofA’s Bessant on responsible AI, cyberattacks and data encryption
Apr 23, 2019 • 15 min
Cathy Bessant, Bank of America’s chief operations and technology officer, offers her takeaways from the first meeting of the Council on the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence. She also discusses some challenges banks are facing with…
‘We’re probably in a crisis already’: Retirement in America
Apr 15, 2019 • 21 min
There are a number of alarming statistics in a new study about the financial health of Americans over 50 with low to moderate income. The Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Karen Andres talks about how banks can help.
One small bank’s formula for competing with the heavyweights
Apr 8, 2019 • 16 min
Jill Castilla, the Oklahoma community bank’s CEO, has made branches more high-tech, opened a co-working space, held street festivals and taken other steps to stand out from the crowd.
The evolution of Umpqua’s pick-your-own-banker app
Apr 1, 2019 • 14 min
Customers are starting to reveal more to private bankers when they use GoTo, the bank’s strategy chief Rilla Delorier says.
The story behind Varo Money’s bank charter push
Mar 26, 2019 • 13 min
Varo Money might become the first challenger bank to get a national bank charter. CEO and co-founder Colin Walsh explains his company’s mission and how becoming a bank might help.
Where does Wells Fargo go from here?
Mar 19, 2019 • 15 min
American Banker reporter Neil Haggerty examines the political implications of CEO Tim Sloan’s testimony to the House last week.
The smart fridge and other tech in Wells Fargo’s innovation lab
Mar 12, 2019 • 24 min
Shari Van Cleave, head of digital labs at the bank, discusses some of the customer-facing technology it’s testing, including wearables and the so-called internet of things.
Why does a check take as long to clear today as it did in 1982?
Mar 4, 2019 • 15 min
The slow U.S. adoption of real-time payments hurts half of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, says Aaron Klein, a fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Mick Mulvaney was ‘a disaster’ as CFPB chief: Raj Date
Feb 25, 2019 • 35 min
The former deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shares his thoughts on the bureau’s evolution, payday lending, fintech regulation and the sweet spots of fintech startups.
The tangled politics and potential future of pot banking
Feb 20, 2019 • 18 min
Legalized marijuana is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it desperately needs banking services. Will Congress come to the rescue?
Recipe for an East Coast regional
Feb 15, 2019 • 18 min
John Asbury, president and CEO Union Bancshares, wants to make Virginia something it hasn’t been in decades: Home to a regional bank powerhouse. He discusses how striking the right balance between acquisitions and strategic hiring works toward that goal.
The case that’s challenging bitcoin’s status as payment instrument
Feb 11, 2019 • 19 min
Undercover cops recently arrested a Miami Beach man for trying to sell bitcoin for dollars, accusing him of money laundering. Carlton Fields attorney Matthew Kohen explains the case and what it means to banks.
‘Should we have banks of this size being formed?’: Inside the BB&T-SunTrust deal
Feb 7, 2019 • 15 min
M&A editor Paul Davis explores the practical and political implications of the proposed merger between BB&T and SunTrust.
Why the U.S. needs data-sharing rules
Feb 4, 2019 • 17 min
Steve Boms, executive director of the Financial Data and Technology Association, says standards should be developed for U.S. banks and fintechs to follow in open banking.
Why the CFPB is watering down its payday lending rule
Jan 28, 2019 • 16 min
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dropped a provision that would have required payday lenders to assess potential borrowers’ ability to repay. American Banker reporter Kate Berry explains why.
Why bankers should drop their fear of fintech regulatory sandboxes
Jan 22, 2019 • 35 min
Bankers sometimes object to experimental zones for fintechs, complaining they are shielded from regulations that banks have to follow. But Brian Knight at George Mason University says fintechs will be held accountable for any legal violations that…
‘The crisis is overstated’: United Income’s Fellowes on retirement
Jan 14, 2019 • 27 min
Amercans are living longer yet retiring earlier and saving less, explains Matt Fellowes, CEO and founder of United Income, which provides financial apps for people over 50. But there’s no need to panic, because people curb their spending as they age….
How blockchain, smart contracts could upstage banks
Jan 7, 2019 • 27 min
Its early days yet, but decentralized apps will democratize finance, says Andrew Keys, cofounder of ConsenSys Capital, the venture capital arm of ConsenSys.
The top cyber threats of 2019
Dec 18, 2018 • 14 min
Rich Baich, the chief information security officer at Wells Fargo and newly appointed security advisor to the White House, shares some of the attack types he’s worried about and the security defenses he’s stepping up for the coming year.
One fintech’s plan to free consumers from credit card debt
Dec 10, 2018 • 14 min
Jason Brown explains how and why his company, Tally, helps consumers by paying their monthly balances, providing automated debt-relief advice and offering a lower-rate credit line.
How can banks stay relevant in a digital world?
Dec 5, 2018 • 58 min
Michael Hanley, who acted as head of digital for the World Economic Forum the last eight years, and Anthony Thomson, the creator of Atom Bank who is building a new challenger bank, 86400, in Australia, share their thoughts on how banks can shape an…
‘There needs to be some clarity’ on data sharing: Yodlee founder
Dec 3, 2018 • 27 min
Schwark Satyovolu, original co-founder of Yodlee and general partner of venture capital firm Trinity Ventures, shares his opinion on how open banking and sharing of consumer data is evolving in the U.S.
Which tech companies pose the biggest threat to banks?
Nov 26, 2018 • 17 min
Warren Kornfeld, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, explains why banks’ fear of Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook and other tech giants is legitimate.
Is blockchain the most over-hyped technology in history?
Nov 20, 2018 • 13 min
Ron Quaranta and Steve Ehrlich with the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance give their take on NYU professor Nouriel Roubini’s declaration that ”blockchain is the most over-hyped — and least useful — technology in human history” and they share…
How banks can avoid becoming zombies
Nov 12, 2018 • 10 min
Gartner recently predicted that 80% of banks will become irrelevant by 2030. Peter Redshaw, team manager for the global financial services team at Gartner, explains some strategies the analyst firm thinks banks need to execute to survive.
‘Commercial banks wasted a lot of money on this election’
Nov 7, 2018 • 21 min
With the midterms finally over, we discuss how it will impact regulatory and legislative policy for financial institutions going forward —as well as how it will affect the 2020 race.
‘What happens when the music stops?’: John Taft at Baird
Oct 31, 2018 • 25 min
Money has been flowing into passive investments such as ETFs in historic amounts. What happens when a bear market inevitably occurs? John Taft, former CEO of RBC Wealth Management and current vice chairman of Baird, sees this as one of several…
CFPB’s softer stance on payday lenders, military member scams
Oct 24, 2018 • 20 min
Consumer Financial Protection Agency Acting Director Mick Mulvaney is winding down some of the efforts his predecessor worked hardest on: enforcement of payday and fair lending rules and the Military Lending Act. Reporter Kate Berry shares the…
Hensarling’s last stand: More reg relief and fixing the GSEs
Oct 17, 2018 • 24 min
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, has spent the past six years as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee trying to undo the Dodd-Frank Act. In this episode, he discusses his hard-nosed legislative approach and his more recent willingness to…
Why bankers should care that two rival blockchains linked up
Oct 10, 2018 • 18 min
The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance have joined each other’s organizations. Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger, explains what this means for bankers.
Inside Mel Watt’s #MeToo moment
Oct 1, 2018 • 11 min
At the same time as Brett Kavanaugh’s explosive confirmation process, the House Financial Services Committee is examining sexual harassment charges against FHFA director Watt and allegations of gender pay disparity at the agency. American Banker…
Inside Warren’s latest criticism of CFPB’s Mulvaney
Sep 26, 2018 • 9 min
American Banker’s Kate Berry discusses recent events at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s efforts to strip the bureau of its ability to enforce fair-lending rules and his replacement of its consumer…
Breaking Banks: Amazon’s new devices; crypto shenanigans
Sep 25, 2018 • 55 min
Brian Roemmele debriefs on Alexa’s new range of voice activated appliances, and Dmitry Malyanov, co-founder of AdHive, shares some of the questionable ICO promotion tactics he’s seen.
‘What’s needed is a wholesale change in the culture’
Sep 19, 2018 • 21 min
Bruce Cahan, a lecturer at Stanford University who teaches ethics to software engineers, future bankers and others, explains how adopting principles found in medicine and religion can lead to profitability for financial services firms.
Breaking Banks: Inside Apple’s latest product launches
Sep 17, 2018 • 56 min
John Nosta, founder of digital health think tank Nostalab, and consultants Faisal Khan and David Gerbino help dissect Apple’s new iPhone XS and the Watch Series 4’s new heart-tracking features.
‘It’s not just about money’: How banks can attract young coders
Sep 12, 2018 • 32 min
Capco consultants Guido Tamburini and Nic Parmaksizian share ideas for recruiting top developers, designers and other young talent, and how to keep them happy.
Breaking Banks: The UK Challengers
Sep 11, 2018 • 56 min
Tom Blomfield, founder and CEO of Monzo Bank and Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank share their approaches to challenging the British incumbents and their differing paths to growth.
Has JPMorgan Chase started a price war?
Sep 5, 2018 • 17 min
Consultant and behavioral psychologist Wei Ke shares his view on the bank’s announcement it will soon offer free trading, and why competitors shouldn’t react too quickly to it. At the end of today’s episode, keep listening to hear the trailer…
Breaking Banks: Will the future AI creates be dystopian or OK?
Sep 4, 2018 • 13 min
“Uber Influencer” and venture capitalist Spiros Margaris discusses which economies and regions are leading adaptation to fintech and AI. Then, author Byron Reese, CEO of GigaOm, talks his new book, “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers…
Sen. Heitkamp on reg relief, compromise and her re-election battle
Aug 29, 2018 • 27 min
Several key Democratic authors of the legislation to ease the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act’s regulations on community banks are up for re-election in November in states that President Trump won in 2016. In this episode, American Banker catches up with one of…
Breaking Banks: Crypto hijinks
Aug 28, 2018 • 58 min
Michael Terpin explains how hackers stole $24 million worth of cryptocurrency from his mobile phone and why he’s suing AT&T for $224 million. Luke Lombe of PlayChip describes his new ICO that combines fantasy sports leagues with crypto tokens.
How small banks are putting their tax savings to work
Aug 22, 2018 • 23 min
CEOs have faced an enviable challenge over the past year: deciding what to do with the money they used to give Uncle Sam. In this episode, American Banker catches up with community bankers from across the country to discuss the impact of the corporate…
Breaking Banks: Fintechs address the over-50 set
Aug 21, 2018 • 60 min
Financial startups are meeting the needs of an aging population. Jason Henrichs hosts Theodora Lau and Brad Leimer of Unconventional Ventures, who discuss fintech designed to help the pre-digital-native generations. They’re then joined by…
Bank of the West’s sustainable investment push
Aug 16, 2018 • 8 min
CEO Nandita Bakhshi explains how the bank, and its French parent company, BNP Paribas, are investing in renewable energy, female entrepreneurs and underserved consumers as part of a unified strategy.
Top LendingClub exec details plan forward
Aug 8, 2018 • 23 min
The online lender’s president, Steve Alloca, shares how the company weathered scandal and how it plans to grow its product set.
Upheaval at the CFPB
Aug 1, 2018 • 14 min
The nomination of Kathy Kraninger as CFPB director has sparked fights in Congress. Meanwhile, the agency has taken several notable enforcement actions. American Banker reporter Kate Berry explains what these developments mean for the CFPB’s future.
Why customers give Navy Federal, USAA high marks
Jul 25, 2018 • 24 min
In a recent survey of 110,000 adults, the two nonbanks ranked highest in customer experience. Forrester principal analyst Alyson Clarke explains what they did to fare so well.
Which fintechs have been the most disruptive?
Jul 18, 2018 • 22 min
Brad Leimer, venture capitalist and former head of innovation at Santander and Mechanics Bank, shares his top picks in online lending, wealth management and other categories.
Breaking Banks: Regtech hits its stride
Jul 17, 2018 • 56 min
Many people had “this crazy idea that regulation is really boring and as a result, it’s been passed over by a lot of the innovation in fintech,” says Jo Ann Barefoot in this week’s episode. Consultants Barefoot and Henri Arslanian share with…
5 ways banks can break ‘digital gridlock’
Jul 11, 2018 • 20 min
Former banker John Best, now CEO of Best Innovation Group and author of the new book “Breaking Digital Gridlock,” outlines the top obstacles to bank innovation and offers suggestions on how to overcome them.
Breaking Banks: What role will avatars have at work?
Jul 9, 2018 • 56 min
Brett King queries science fiction writers Kevin J. Anderson and Harry “Doc” Kloor about the practical future for emerging technologies like avatars and voice recognition.
Breaking Banks: Two fintechs hope to solve student debt problems
Jul 2, 2018 • 56 min
Student loan debt now totals $1.5 trillion, second only to mortgage debt, and it’s a crushing burden for many. J.P. Nichols hosts alongside Jean Donnelly, executive director of FinTech Sandbox. Guests CEO Laurel Taylor and CEO…
‘I struggle with why one would want to wait’ on virtual assistants
Jun 22, 2018 • 19 min
Dek: Zach Gipson, chief innovation officer at USAA, acknowledges that chatbot technology today lacks the intelligence to have natural conversations about money. But he doesn’t understand some companies’ hesitancy to try the technology. “Why…