Why 1 Big Bank Is Terrified of Google and Facebook Inc.

Google and Facebook are rumored to dive into payments, and the CEO of JPMorgan Chase said he's nervous. But it turns out he has every reason not to be.

May 8, 2014 at 12:24PM

The man who sits on top of a bank with $2.5 trillion on its books recently said both Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) were coming for it.

And both who said it and how they think it'll happen may surprise you.

The reiteration of competition
Earlier this week the CEO of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Jamie Dimon, said at a conference in Saudi Arabia: "We're one of the largest payments systems in the world. We're going to have competition from Google and Facebook and somebody else."

This reiterated his stance from earlier this year when he said at the annual shareholder meeting for technology companies: "[A]ll want to eat our lunch. I mean every single one of them, and they're going to try," when asked about competition the bank faces.

After all, it was less than a month ago when media outlets began to report Facebook was only weeks away from diving into the payments industry. And through its Wallet service, Google has made it known it has every desire to change the payments landscape.

Perhaps the truly scary thing for JPMorgan Chase also included the remarks at a recent conference from the head of payments at Google, Ariel Bardin, when he said, "We're in the payments business to create great user experiences. Making money comes later."

Competition from a firm seeking to make customers satisfied ahead of growing its bottom line would be both unique and frightening to a giant bank like JPMorgan Chase.

But likely to the disappointment of Google and Facebook investors, all signs indicate Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase have no reason for concern.

The commanding growth
First, it's critical to see here Dimon is speaking about the payment business and not banking. In fact he added, "[T]here's no way that Google wants to be a regulated bank."

Instead of seeking entrance into the market of making loans, issuing credit cards, and holding deposits, Google is, and Facebook is rumored to be, positioning in the payments industry. This is the utilitylike service ensuring when a credit or debit card is swiped at a store, the money is transferred from the customer to the merchant.

While JPMorgan Chase doesn't exactly disclose the profits it makes from Chase Paymentech, it has seen remarkable growth in its business, which processes transactions for stores, over the last two years:

Images
Source: Company SEC Filings

On the less quantitative side of things, JPMorgan Chase has also done a remarkable job at expanding its technological capabilities, which is exactly what the perceived threat from Google and Facebook.  

Its newly launched ChaseNet platform will allow JPMorgan Chase to "deliver a simplified checkout experience for Chase cardholders and merchants, positioning us to become the preferred digital 'way to pay.'" It's simplifying the payment process through innovation to allow people to pay more quickly both in stores and online, but also allow merchants to grow sales through targeted offers and simplified checkout.

This service could entrench it as a dominant force in the payments landscape, and also allow it not be displaced by the Silicon Valley firms.

The Foolish bottom line
The concern from Google and Facebook diving into the payment industry are real, but JPMorgan Chase is doing an excellent job ensuring they will simply be perceived threats and not tangible concerns.

Big banking's little $20.8 trillion secret
Dimon shouldn't be terrified of Google and Facebook. But there is a brand-new company that's revolutionizing banking, that should keeping him up at night. As it's poised to kill the hated traditional brick-and-mortar banks. That's bad for them, but great for investors. And amazingly, despite its rapid growth, this company is still flying under the radar of Wall Street. To learn about about this company, click here to access our new special free report.

Patrick Morris has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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