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Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked (2010), deBanked Connect & Broker Fair (2018), and DailyFunder (2012).

Murray entered the nonbank finance industry in 2006 and has a Bachelors of Science in Accounting & Finance from University of Delaware. He is widely known for his extensive reporting on the merchant cash advance industry and fintech.

Sean Murray

Recently Authored by Sean Murray

deBanked Presents: The Broker NFT Collection
By: Sean Murray

Watch out CryptoPunks, deBanked has minted a limited edition set of its own Broker NFTs. Drawing from the animated style popular in the NFT community, this collection of ten "brokers" is a diverse light-hearted tribute to the professionals in the business finance industry. Each broker in the collection has been individually minted on the ethereum blockchain. The artwork was drawn by Cindy Recile and the NFTs minted via deBanked's own ethereum smart contract. (See here on etherscan.) The other news is that we'll be giving some of these away for free. (stay tuned for those details!) The Broker NFT Collection Today's NFT market has things like pixelated punks and bored apes literally selling for millions of dollars. A jpeg with no picture other than 4 words of text that say: "Fintech is Killing me," is currently up for sale for more than $400, if that can be believed.
In the meantime, you can view each individual NFT using deBanked's very own NFT Viewer. Any ERC721 NFT attached to an image can be viewed using our NFT Viewing Tool. The act of minting an NFT cost Ethereum gas but if there is any particular thing you would like to see deBanked turn into an NFT, let us know and maybe we'll make it happen! Email
Fintech Dj Vu: Wait, Has This All Happened Before?
By: Sean Murray

loanwiseAll one needs to do is answer a few short questions about their personal and business finances, have their answers evaluated by multiple leading lenders, and they'll get a loan decision instantly, the advertisement said. Then, "select the loan that's best for your business and get back to work all in less than 5 minutes." Touted as the "5-minute online business loan," the ad for LoanWise ran in newspapers starting in 1999. That was 22 years ago. Back then, LoanWise was described as a marketplace that connected small businesses with lenders where borrowers could comparison shop for loans. Provident Bank was the first to join the platform, where it would approve between $5,000 - $50,000 in as little as five minutes. At the time, the Los Angeles Times said that there were only 2,160 matches on Google for the phrase "small business finance." "2,160 is a big number no matter how you look at it," the Times reported. There's over 6 million today by comparison. LoanWise had set up 10 lenders on the platform by the end of 1999, with names that included American Express, Compass Bank, and PNC Bank. There was competition as well. Business Finance Mart and America's Business Funding Directory also connected interested borrowers with lenders, according to the Times. Today, all 3 websites no longer exist, forgotten vestiges from the land before fintech. Or has this all happened before? fintech one manJohn P. Clark, a cost economist with Ohio Bell Telephone Co., ran a mortgage number crunching business in Cleveland on the side in 1986. Naming his company "FinTech," Clark would help people calculate the best time to refinance. "Clark can generate useful timetables for mortgages that take the mystery out of when refinancing a mortgage makes sense," wrote The Plain Dealer. Had it been 2021, Clark sounds like it would have been a billion dollar fintech app. It was not a one-off. Fintech was the place to call if you wanted a working capital small business loan in San Antonio, TX starting in 1989. Ads for Small Business Financing advised people to call Fintech to get their business funded. You could also just subscribe to the newletters. The Financial Times had four "FinTech Newsletters" in 1989 that were dedicated to covering electronic office, advanced manufacturing, telecom markets, and mobile communications. The price was 344 to 395 per year to receive them bi-weekly. 1989"FinTech newsletters tend not to be excessively technical," The Guardian wrote on Aug 10, 1989, "but provide management guides to developments in each field, with lots of bullet points." Perhaps the striking difference between that and today is that the newsletters arrived "hole-punched for filling in a binder." But hey, it's all just a coincidence that ideas were roughly the same thirty years ago. Out in say, Des Moines, Iowa in the 1960s, for example, none of these things would've occurred to anyone. Or would they have? Sidney Feintech, a supermarket owner, expanded his store in 1963 to sell appliances, car batteries, clothing, and televisions. He got the idea that selling on credit would boost sales so he formed his own in-house credit company so that customers could Buy Now, Pay Later. Innocent enough, except the newspapers mispelled his last name. "Fintech," the papers said, had gotten into the credit business. ltFast forward 33 years to 1996 when a 26-year-old named Douglas Lebda thought the process of going from bank to bank to get a loan was too burdensome. "I thought, 'why can't I put my information somewhere and let the banks compete for my business," Lebda said. Launching a website, his company went on to generate $460 million worth of loans in just the fourth quarter of 1999 alone. "There are other sites on the internet where you can apply for a loan, but those sites are operated by the lenders themselves," Lebda said at the time. "We don't lend money; that's what makes us unique." That website was LendingTree, a company that today still has over 900 employees and a market cap of $1.8B. And Lebda is still the CEO. In 1999, the hardest part was educating consumers to shop for loans online. "Consumers have always done this one way, and this requires a behavioral change," said consultant James Punishill in 1999. "In the old world, you'd pick up the newspaper and see a bunch of rates." "I knew from the start this would work because consumers really hate getting loans," Lebda said at the time. "The market is huge and it's perfect for e-commerce."

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Sean Murray to Moderate Best Practices Panel at New York Institute of Credit Event

October 15, 2018
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deBanked President and Chief Editor Sean Murray will be moderating a best practices panel at the New York Institute of Credit Event on October 16th. The event is also supported by the IFA Northeast, the Alternative Finance Bar Association, and deBanked.

The subject of the panel is to discuss best practices when dealing with different financial firms, namely ABL, factoring, and merchant cash advance. The panelists are:

  • Bill Gallagher, President, CFG Merchant Solutions
  • Bill Elliott, President, First Business Growth Funding
  • Raffi Azadian, CEO, Change Capital
  • Dean Landis, President, Entrepreneur Growth Capital

Merchant Cash Advance APR Debate (Sean Murray v Ami Kassar)

November 24, 2015
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The other day, Inc. writer and loan broker Ami Kassar took some time out of his day from taking photos of his shadow in the park to engage me in a debate about the use of APRs in future receivable purchase transactions. He was apparently very bothered by my analysis of Square’s merchant cash advance program which has transacted more than $300 million to date.

To clarify my position here, I am indeed in favor of transparency, so long as it’s intelligent transparency. Coming up with phony percentages based on estimates and applying them to transactions where they don’t make sense is not transparency. Similarly, advocating that merchant cash advance companies and lenders alike move away from a dollar-for-dollar pricing model to one that requires the seller or borrower to do math or hire an accountant is also not transparency.

Even a Federal Reserve study that attempted to prove merchant cash advances were confusing inadvertently proved that APRs in general were confusing. If someone doesn’t know how to calculate an APR, then it’s unreasonable to assume that they could work backwards from an APR to determine the dollar-for-dollar cost of capital. In effect, APR is a surefire way to mask the trust cost despite arguments to the contrary.

My unplanned debate with Ami Kassar on twitter is below:

Sorry Ami. The only thing unclear is your argument.

Sonia Alvelo, CEO of Latin Financial Will Appear on deBanked TV

October 6, 2021
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Sonia AlveloSonia Alvelo, CEO of Latin Financial, will join Sean Murray live on deBanked TV on Thursday at approximately 12:15pm EST. Latin Financial is based in Newington, CT and Alvelo has contributed valuable insight to deBanked over the years, particularly on the Puerto Rican small business finance market.

Anyone can tune in to for free without any registration to watch.

Who is Latin Financial?
A family owned and operated brokerage firm with a variety of backgrounds and expertise. We’re here to help all of our clients with their business’ unique financial needs. No loan is too big or too small for us; our goal is to simply help create a positive future for all of our clients. Here at Latin Financial, we understand that working capital can be difficult to obtain. With banks approving fewer and fewer loans, borrowing for your business’ future can be frightening and uncertain, especially in today’s economy. With Latin Financial you’re in good hands.

Latin Financial has over 10 years of business financial experience between its advisors.

We are at the forefront of this quickly changing economy and we work closely with our clients and investors because we are fully committed to meeting and exceeding expectations. We also believe in keeping our services affordable, working around your budget while never charging fees.

We are proud that so many of our clients have repeatedly turned to us for guidance and assistance with their business capital needs. We work hard to earn their loyalty every day.

deBanked Mints NFTs, Puts First Magazine Cover on the Ethereum Blockchain

September 12, 2021
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deBanked March/April thumbdeBanked has been forever etched into the Ethereum blockchain.

The first print magazine cover ever published by deBanked has been turned into an NFT. Over the weekend, deBanked deployed its own NFT smart contract on to Ethereum and minted several NFTs including the deBanked logo and the Broker Fair 2021 logo. The exercise was prompted by a deBanked TV discussion about athletes selling “digitally-signed” memorabilia.

“I think it’s important that as we talk about this technology, that we fundamentally understand how it all works,” said deBanked President Sean Murray. “There are some drag-and-drop style NFT ‘makers’ online, but I thought that would defeat the purpose, so I did it all through the Terminal. Once I got our NFT smart contract on the Ethereum mainnet, I minted a handful of NFTs with it.”

Murray, who started using and mining crypto in 2014, has offered Bitcoin as a deBanked customer payment option for more than 6 years.

Although the NFT contract and token IDs are visible on, images themselves are not. Users need a particular wallet or app that is equipped to display NFTs.

nft“It’s a somewhat strange system in which these tokens basically contain metadata with a URL to where the images are hosted somewhere else online. So you need something that’s interpreting the metadata,” Murray said.

Using a mobile wallet like MetaMask can accomplish this, but so can a quick web tool like deBanked’s NFT Viewer.

Murray added that there’s actual costs involved too.

“A lot of people are joking about how someone paid $1.3 million for a picture of a rock,” he said, “but it does cost money by way of eth to mint an NFT. It could cost someone more than $100 just to put a single NFT on Ethereum so selling an NFT, even if it’s something silly, could fetch a significant price by virtue of the high transaction fees on the network.”

broker fair NFTNetwork fees are a known obstacle. NFTs on the sports star operated are minted on the Polygon blockchain where costs are lower, for example. Autograph boasts that anyone can buy “digitally signed autographs” from celebrities like Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, and Wayne Gretzky.

Minting an NFT or two or three, or as many as one wants, is as simple as pressing a button once a proper script is written. Interested collectors would have to establish just how genuinely or intimately signed an autograph is and how rare it is. Is it an agent executing a script? Is it the celebrity pressing a button? Or could it be that the image itself is unique and that the seller drew or signed it with their own hand in Adobe Photoshop or something similar? As the mysteriousness of the technology becomes more understood, the market may become more cost normalized.

Murray says that the smart contract is still accessible so that there is the potential to mint more deBanked-originated NFTs in the future and that deBanked NFTs can also be sent to others that have Ethereum-equipped wallets.

“I think 2021 is as good a year as ever for Broker Fair in particular to be memorialized into Ethereum,” Murray said. “What better way than to be on the forefront of technology in the commercial finance space?”

deBanked TV Surpasses 400 Helpful Videos on Small Business Finance and Fintech

July 23, 2021
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deBanked TVdeBanked TV surpassed 400 total videos this week in its free library of content. More than 40 such videos contain basic tutorials and terminology definitions for folks in the SMB lending and MCA industries.

“The content is highly focused,” deBanked President Sean Murray said. “It’s small business lending, real estate, MCA, etc. There’s content for newbies and seasoned veterans aimed at brokers, lenders, and more.”

deBanked has produced more than a dozen original videos as part of an industry docu-series that began in 2020.

Murray also airs live on deBanked TV every Monday and Wednesday at 12:15pm ET where he discusses industry news and offers informative advice.

SEAA: 1,000+ Attendees In Atlanta Next year, Thanks deBanked

June 8, 2021
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seaa 20211,000 people registered at the Southeast Acquirers Association 20th-anniversary conference Bonita Springs Florida: a smash hit in part due to the hybrid presentation model and deBanked’s video coverage, the executive board members of SEAA said. Treasurer John McCormick said next year in Atlanta would be even bigger, following a hybrid in-person venue with recordings and live streams that would pack over 1,000 participants in the show.

“To have our biggest show on the West Coast of Florida was really gratifying,” he said. “We registered over 1,000 and were just shy of that number with check-ins. I think we’ll [surpass that] next year in Atlanta, which will be a great celebration for our board and advisory committee.”

McCormick helped co-found the organization along with Audrey Blackmon and Judy Foster in 2001. In March, he talked with deBanked, describing the difficult choice to go back in person full capacity, a decision that turned into a major win. Derek Vowels, director of partner solutions at Aliaswire and SEAA board member, thanked Cypress Planning Group for the venue support and deBanked for helping produce the in-person and online hybrid model.

Everyone rose to the occasion, Vowels told Green Sheet, thanking Sean Murray, deBanked chief editor, publisher, and deBanked reporter Johny Fernandez, who conducted live interviews at the conference. “Attendees can view every breakout session, presentation, and popular CBD panel on the app and web portal for the rest of the calendar year,” he said. “Going forward, hybrid events that combine face-to-face meetings with recordings will be the norm.”

Alongside live streaming from the show floor on May 25th from 9 am to after 6 pm, Sean and Johny pored through interviews with industry experts.

Sam Schapiro, leader of funding application platform Fundomate, talked with Johny about the resilience of the human species, American small businesses, and funding slowdown.

Shawn Smith, the CEO of Dedicated Commercial Recovery, met with Sean to talk about the new post-covid environment in the B2B space and Florida golf.

Aviv Baron, the founder of Direct Payment Group, talked with Sean about changes in merchant spending, payment processing, cannabis, and drop shipping trends in the past year.

And automated accounts receivable fintech CEO Garima Shah talked with Johny about her firm Biller Genie, and the world opening for business after a year of covid.

deBanked is looking forward to the new year as covid restrictions lift and events come back in person.

Lawsuit Alleging Google Ad Abuse is Latest Iteration of the Search War

May 20, 2021
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google searchGoogle parent company Alphabet reported a record profit in Q1 2021 of $18 billion, up 162% from 2020. The firm attributes the success to a 32% surge in Covid related advertising sales.

A recent lawsuit from ten US States filed in a district court in Texas would argue that it’s not just a covid based bump in ad sales. According to the WSJ, in response to the lawsuit, Google accidentally confirmed what prosecutors suspected: they run a secret program called “Project Bernanke” that uses proprietary data to win bids on the firm’s ad exchange, netting hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. It amounts to a digital ad monopoly, which has already pushed Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to new highs.

Google’s ad exchange works like a stock exchange for marketing, as enterprises buy and sell placements and seconds of attention within the Google advertising universe. Firms bid on purchasing slots for ads in browsers and videos, and the auctions happen lightning fast in real-time. The lawsuit from ten states through the Taxes district court alleges Google used insider information on what they knew firms were willing to pay, to drive the prices as high as they would go.

Google is both on the buy and sell-side of its transactions and admitted in the papers WSJ saw that the data they mined to inform bids in Project Bernanke was not disclosed to publishers. The papers were quickly redacted and sealed by a judge days after WSJ found the details. The documents also mention “Jedi Blue,” a sweetheart deal between Google and Facebook. Instead of competing with Google ads, Facebook agreed to bid on and automatically win a fixed percentage of Google ad auctions. The deal originated back in 2018 when Facebook announced it was joining a competitor advertising program called “open bidding.” The states’ lawsuit alleges the firms must have made a side deal then, and the leaders of the internet ad market colluded; it’s why a bipartisan coalition of ten states is pushing back.

deBanked has tracked Google’s relationship with funders who use the search engine for marketing their products. After reducing the effetiveness of SEO and forcing most businesses into buying ad space out of necessity, the new lawsuit alleges Google rigged the game for themselves. The House always wins.

Back in 2012, deBanked’s Sean Murray first evaluated the SEO landscape. Google punished blogs that were printing out backlinks by the hundreds, nose-diving the competitive market for SEO rankings.

In 2014, Google’s “penguin algorithm” inflicted further pain.

In 2017, Google outright blocked merchant cash advance as an advertising keyword.

deBanked Announces SPAC

April 1, 2021
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Wall StreetdeBanked employees were summoned to an all-hands meeting in the company’s modest Brooklyn, NY headquarters yesterday afternoon to bear witness to a special announcement.

“We’re launching a SPAC,” deBanked president and chief editor Sean Murray said to a stunned room. “I’ve been writing about fintech for more than ten years, but an inspirational meme posted by a bot on twitter got me thinking. And I was just like, ‘You know what? F*** it, let’s just buy the whole fintech industry.'”

Everyone quickly agreed that it was a genius move.

“What was the last stimulus? like what, $1.9 trillion or something? We’ll raise at least 10x that amount in our IPO,” he continued. “No financial technology company is off limits, we’re going to buy them all. I can’t believe no one has thought of this yet!”

Murray realized that such a brilliant strategy was likely to rattle the largest banks and he said that he had already placed calls to Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan and David Solomon at Goldman Sachs to ease them into his swift rise to financial power.

“I mean did I actually speak to them? Technically per se not really, but I heard them speak on Clubhouse of which I am an elite exclusive member,” Murray said.

When pressed for details about this Clubhouse conversation, Murray backpedaled and said he actually just read an article about Clubhouse but that the article referenced Elon Musk and that he was basically just as important as the famed bankers. Several sources who wished to remain anonymous said that Murray was only invited to Clubhouse after shamelessly begging for an invitation on twitter.

Attempts to verify his membership revealed a profile picture where he is giving a thumbs up while holding a glass of scotch, one of which he said came from a bottle that cost more than I would ever make in my whole life. A fact check, however, revealed that it was really just expired apple juice that a building maintenance worker had left out near the common area garbage disposal.

When asked to explain this, Murray said, “Bro, why do you think we’re doing a SPAC? Once we have the money, we’ll be drinking freaking Apple computers!”

By the end of the big company meeting, Murray pulled out a joint and began puffing it furiously through a mouth hole he cut open in his 7 simultaneously-worn covid masks, prompting one staff member to ask if his fanciful plan was at all related to New York’s newly enacted marijuana law.

“Wait, you mean this sh*t’s legal now?” he asked. “F***, make it two SPACs then!”

April Fools 🙂

Threads on deBanked


Inform More, Earn More...
dale laszig has written a terrific article ( on the green sheet ( a...

Found on DailyFunder:


Inform More, Earn More...
sean murray, president and chief editor at*debanked, makes great points about education for sales agents being paramount to their success.*if knowledgeable about the diversity of financial products, and their distinctions from one another, agents can*help customers make informed decisions, which allows them to close more deals., , *, , customers trust in the person, brand or company they are working with is...

How in the WORLD!!!??...
sean murray over at debanked to do a nice piece for his magazine debanked., , this is just getting crazy!!! still waiting for approval/denial and merchant has been called 4 times already.... wwooowwwwww!!!!...

sean murray would have stepped in to stop this but i guess doesnt want to hurt his bottom line...