“Silicon Valley is coming,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned in his annual letter to shareholders.
Dimon says startups are coming for Wall Street, innovating and creating efficiency in areas that are important to companies like JPMorgan, particularly in the lending and payments space.
Lending Club, for example, had the largest US tech IPO of 2014. The payments startup Stripe has a multibillion-dollar valuation and a partnership with Apple Pay. Bitcoin companies and exchanges like 21 and Coinbase are attracting tens of millions of dollars from venture capitalists. And the financial-planning startup LearnVest just got acquired for $250 million in cash.
“There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking,” Dimon wrote. “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. 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.”
Dimon also spent a section of his note discussing payment competitors, and he notes that payments are “critical” for JPMorgan.
“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,” Dimon says.