Big banks counter fintechs by bringing scale to small merchants

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While many of the moves fintechs like Stripe, PayPal and Square make are designed to compete against each other, their biggest threat might be traditional banks — which provide the infrastructure these fintechs rely on and, increasingly, have been flexing their own technology muscle.

While the fintechs that offer merchant loans usually argue they’re lending to the ultra-small businesses that banks don’t serve, competitive forces will bring the technology companies deeper into banks’ domain.

“The fintechs are driving all of us to think about how to go to market, to take the friction out of customer experience,” said Julie Pukas, head of U.S. Bankcard and Merchant Services at TD Bank in New York. Pukas’ responsibilities include any TD-branded card for

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