JP Morgan Chase to Open FinTech Campus in Palo Alto
JP Morgan Chase is headed to Silicon Valley. The bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon recently announced that it was working to create a new campus in Palo Alto that will house more than 1,000 employees and focus on finding new FinTech solutions. Currently the opening of this new campus is set for 2020 while greater development and planning for the space will kick off next year.
As CNBC reports, Dimon has said that the new campus will be an “innovation hub” that’s a “modern workplace design with amenities that matter most to employees and state-of-the-art technology to increase collaboration.” According to WePay’s Tina Hsiao, the promise of such a campus was in place when Chase acquired that company last year. In an interview Hsiao explained of Dimon, “This is him planting that flag. The leaders have said: We’re not tourists, we’re here to stay.”
This is just the latest investment that JP Morgan has made in FinTech in recent years. Just a couple of month ago, the bank introduced a new online investment platform that allows bank customers to make up to 100 free trades in their first year. Prior to that (and before their acquisition of WePay), the institution launched a FinTech incubator to invest in innovative startups. Notably Chase has also partnered with online small business lender OnDeck, who actually just announced that they’d be spinning off their platform for banks to implement themselves.
Of course Dimon has also spoken about the startup insurgence in finance for some time, saying in 2015, “Silicon Valley is coming,” adding, “hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking.” Since then the CEO has said the company has been making investments in things like artificial intelligence and machine learning. CNBC notes that the hope is that these technologies will allow the bank to minimize risk by improving underwriting.
Giving credit where credit is due, under Jamie Dimon’s leadership, JP Morgan Chase has embraced and collaborated with FinTech startups like few others in the banking industry have. Now setting up a home in Silicon Valley seems like the next logical step not only for the bank itself but also for the evolving relationship between traditional institutions and up-and-comers. Although it may take several months to come to fruition and likely more time after that for any effects to be felt, Chase’s big move could prove to be a gamechanger as they and others look toward new technologies to improve the banking experience.