JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) has reportedly hired former HSBC Holdings executive Jeremy Balkin to serve as the bank’s Head of Fintech and Innovation for handling wholesale payments.
In his new role, Balkin is expected to manage Fintech and related innovation projects with a focus on wholesale payments. Balkin will reportedly be involved in JPMorgan’s decisions to make investments or form partnerships with firms that can help further the institution’s strategy in this market segment.
While working at HSBC in the US, Balkin had been serving as Head of Innovation and Strategic Digital Partnerships. He led a team that handled tasks such as enhancing the digital customer experience (CX) and helped identify suitable new products and services. The team’s initiatives included the launch of the humanoid robot Pepper at HSBC’s Fifth Avenue flagship New York division.
HSBC noted in February 2021 that it was looking into selling off its US-based retail division, a business that has not been performing according to expectations.
Balkin’s appointment has come at a time when large banking institutions continue to make investments in innovative Fintech projects in order to enhance and support their digital transformation strategies for business and retail customers.
There’s been a dramatic surge in the use of digital payments during the past few years as more commerce activity shifts to an online environment, a trend that has accelerated due to the COVID outbreak.
JPMorgan’s wholesale payments unit recently appointed ex- BlueVine and PayPal Holdings executive Brad Brodigan to serve as its global head of SMB for merchant services, the bank confirmed.
Brodigan’s duties and responsibilities will include handling sales and business partnerships, the bank noted.
As reported in January 2021, JPMorgan is planning to launch a digital bank in the United Kingdom. The digital banking sector will get a bit more crowded in the UK following this announcement. JPMorgan will follow in the footsteps of Marcus, created by Goldman Sachs, entering the fray to compete with the likes of Revolut, Monzo, Starling Bank, and others.
According to the bank, the digital iteration will be based in London with operations in Edinburgh. Sanoke Viswanathan will be the CEO of the digital bank and the new entity is said to have already hired 400 people with more to follow. Of note, Viswanathan is on the board of Digital Asset and thus he is engaged with the blockchain/digital asset sector.
Gordon Smith, CEO of consumer and community banking for JPMorgan, commented:
“The UK has a vibrant and highly competitive consumer banking marketplace, which is why we’ve designed the bank from scratch to specifically meet the needs of customers here.”