Expert Interview: Adam Carson of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Ty Griffin & Asad Ramzanali

Adam Carson, managing director of global technology strategy & partnerships at JPMorgan Chase & Co., was kind enough to sit down with us recently to share his perspectives on how fintech is evolving and how startups should think about banking partnerships.

Here are a few critical takeaways founders should consider:

  1. Be careful pivoting between selling to consumers and selling to businesses. They are completely different strategies that require different resourcing, capital, and personnel. One customer base should not be a fallback for the other.
  2. Large companies often need to see tangible proof that the business model is working, and that the product is in the hands of customers, before committing to a partnership. Start by partnering with smaller organizations. Few large banks have the ability to partner to build out an unproven product or strategy.
  3. Smaller banks can be a valuable place to begin your product iteration. They can work with earlier-stage products and provide the proof-points that larger institutions want to see.
  4. Be careful of partners who seem to be willing to partner in the context of “innovating for innovation’s sake.” If your product is related to something on the bank’s existing roadmap, you have much higher likelihood of success. If the bank is serious, you will have some degree of C-level interaction.
  5. Banks also provide traditional banking services to fintech startups. These conversations are quite separate from the partnership processes discussed above and often involve different people and different groups.

Facilitating partnerships between FinLab companies and financial institutions is a key part of what we do during the Lab. Throughout the program, Lab companies get exposure to members of CFSI’s Financial Health Network.

Startups that are improving the financial health of consumers – especially by leveraging partnerships – should apply to the Lab by April 27.

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