JJ Hornblass

JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at hornblass@gmail.com or 212-564-8972.

Web Site: http://www.linkedin.com/in/hornblass/


Facebook Is Sticking to Payments for Games, Not P2P

April 24, 2014
Facebook Is Sticking to Payments for Games, Not P2P

While mobile advertising revenue drove Facebook to a banner first quarter, it is the company’s payments performance that is now taking center stage — and remains a bit of a bugaboo. FB payments revenue, including “fees,” dropped to $237 million last quarter from $241 million in the last quarter of 2013, although it is...
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US Bank Ups Ante Again on Innovation

April 17, 2014
US Bank Ups Ante Again on Innovation

Is US Bank the only financial institution in the nation to continue increasing its investment in innovation? It sure seems like it. The latest shot across the financial sector’s bow came yesterday, when bank officials disclosed that they were not just keeping the bank’s innovation budget constant, but actively looking to use retained earnings...
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FNB South Africa Is Turning In Impressive Mobile Transaction Volume

April 9, 2014
FNB South Africa Is Turning In Impressive Mobile Transaction Volume

The financial services story in Africa has been dominated in recent years by M-PESA, the Kenyan mobile payments service. But an there’s also a mobile banking story worth noting at First National Bank of South Africa. FNB, as it is called, is doing an impressive 230 million mobile banking transactions per month. M-PESA, as...
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Does Ethos Deal Mean Mortgages Are Hot?

April 8, 2014
Does Ethos Deal Mean Mortgages Are Hot?

We were lamenting the lack of innovation in the mortgage industry — and then two startups pop up. So it goes in the fintech startup bubble. First, startup SoFi recently raised $80 million (yes, you read that number right) and promptly announced that it would start marking mortgages. Then, Fenway Summer LLC, the new...
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Chase to Release Redesign of Its iPhone App This Month

April 4, 2014
Chase to Release Redesign of Its iPhone App This Month

JP Morgan Chase is planning a major redesign of its retail banking iPhone app. Chase, the retail arm of JPM, told customers today that its newly redesigned app will be released later this month. According to Chase, the new app will include the following features: Simpler, more-streamlined login; Design modifications to make finding “key”...
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Citigold Offers ‘Special Edition Doughnuts’

April 1, 2014
Citigold Offers ‘Special Edition Doughnuts’

Who doesn’t want a “special edition doughnut”? Citigold, Citibank’s premium banking product, is offering “special edition doughnuts” to Hong Kong consumers who sign up with the bank. Visitors to the bank’s Nathan Road branch in Hong Kong receive the coupon at left for the “special edition doughnut” — “only one per person during the...
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Crashing Mortgage Margins Beg for More Innovation

March 28, 2014
Crashing Mortgage Margins Beg for More Innovation

Lost amid the waterfall of news this week was the fact that the average profit on mortgages has fallen to their lowest point since the Mortgage Bankers Association started recording the data in 2008. Last quarter, mortgages paid lenders an average profit of $150. It was $743 in the fourth quarter of 2012. Here’s...
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53 Fastest Payment Processors in the World

March 27, 2014

Which merchant processor puts through payments fastest? The winner last month was Litle & Co., the Vantiv company. Litle also was fastest in January 2014. Processing speed matters because it is a marker of investment and technical prowess on the part of the payment processor. Here are the 53 fastest processors in the world,...
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Payments ‘FinTechAthon’ in London Gets Off to Fast Start

March 26, 2014
Payments ‘FinTechAthon’ in London Gets Off to Fast Start

Startupbootcamp, an accelerator based in London, launched FinTechAthon, a sort of financial services-focused hackathon, this week — and already it seems to have gotten off to a fast start. The event has 70 slots, and Startup Bootcamp officials tell us that as of last Monday 35 were already taken. And that was before Startup...
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Ignore the Banking Studies?

March 25, 2014
Ignore the Banking Studies?

You can find data to tell you just about anything about banking these days. That’s not a good thing. This morning I came across two banking studies that, while not exactly contradictory, seem to be implying two opposing trends. On the one hand, there is the Bankrate.com study released today that indicates Americans are still...
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