Bank of America Looks at Potential FinTech Start-Up Deals

Peter Rudegeair reported in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal that, “Bank of America Corp. is abandoning its no-deals policy and going shopping in Silicon Valley.

“In a push to upgrade its technology offerings, the Charlotte-based lender is dispatching a top executive out west to look at possibly scooping up promising startup companies.

“Thong Nguyen, Bank of America’s president of retail banking, said the bank wants to be a bigger player in the business of handling consumer payments, even though that field is increasingly crowded.”

The Journal article indicated that, “Mr. Nguyen’s move to San Francisco is designed to make it easier for the bank to meet more frequently with potential technology partners and Bay Area recruits that can help the bank develop its mobile apps and cut costs associated with paper checks and cash payments. The bank declined to discuss specific potential partners.

“Mr. Nguyen’s move shows increasing focus on the fast-growing digital payments business, which promises faster service and more secure transactions than traditional credit and debit cards.”

Mr. Rudegeair explained that: “Handling payments has become a crucial business for banks in part due to consumers’ embrace of online spending. Also, regulations and low interest rates have pummeled other core banking businesses like trading and lending.”

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