Jamie Donahue | FinTech Magazine
Jamie Donahue is the Chief Technology Officer of BM Technologies (BMTX), an embedded banking pioneer that launches banking functionality for major brands and works with approximately 750 colleges and university campuses in the United States to offer checking accounts and other financial services to students. Under Donahue’s leadership, BMTX’s technical capabilities range from complete custom applications to white-label offerings that can launch in as little as 90 days.
Donahue has been in the role since 2020 but has a 25-year career in financial services, starting at ADP Brokerage before spinning off in 1998 to create a company called BISYS, which was ADP’s foray into the banking system. He has also enjoyed senior stints at Finastra as well as First Republic Bank before joining BMTX.
One of the company’s most high-profile operators is T-Mobile. BMTX offers a complete turnkey solution for the mobile operator’s T-Mobile MONEY app. “Banking is hard,” explains Donahue. “It’s a tough industry. If you think about what a brand would do to get a bank charter, it’s just not natural. In T-Mobile’s case, it’s a wireless carrier, and we bring a bank to their brand and a bank to their customers. It is very powerful to be able to link these things together. We do everything from all the regulations and compliance that comes with it: all the security, all the risk and all the fraud operations.”
Away from the office, Donahue is a fan of life on the water and an avid fisherman, especially offshore fishing. As he speaks to us from his office in New Jersey, an ornament of two leaping fish—a prize catch, if they weren’t made of metal—glitters in the morning sun. Donahue’s experiences away from work inform his beliefs about where the industry is headed. He compares it to Uber, and what it did for ride hailing. “I remember I used to have a taxi app,” he recalls. “Now I can get taxis through Uber.”
“We think people will go to brands they like to do business with, they’re comfortable with and they trust. And there will be banking features in that ecosystem.” To keep pace with this change, BMTX has undergone significant technological transformation in recent years – and the partners it chooses are instrumental in that.
The way Donahue sums up his approach to partnership is simple: “if you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together,” he says, recalling an oft-quoted mantra from his days in the military. training. BMTX has some pretty reliable partners that they can rely on, including Ubiquity, who provide all of their customer service services and have generated an impressive 92% first time resolution rate; Dynamic Security Concepts Inc (DSCI), which helps BMTX understand and mitigate the various security vectors and risk parameters associated with the significant amounts of API code that it pushes into the market; and of course Microsoft, which provides cloud services through Microsoft Azure.
“The cloud never stands still,” Donahue says contemplatively. He expects embedded banking to become more ubiquitous, with brands offering financial services to keep customers within their ecosystem. BMTX will be at the forefront of this trend, and the company expects to announce another key BaaS partner during the first half of 2023.
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