waiting for a new bank? you may have to pull the strings to make it happen

By in banking, management, mobile, products, security, strategy on Monday, 24 January 2011

Oh, how we would all love a new bank. A bank that did everything right. Perfect. Sorry, you’re dreaming. That’s not going to happen.
we may not see a new bank, but we can string them along...
The current banks operate a virtual cartel, effectively shutting out any new player. Now while the boutique banks may focus on specific products and find a niche, Chances of a new NatWest or Barclays appearing are small.

But there is a way to get a better deal. We just need to leverage the old deal…

Mutual respect

I’m a keen follower of the vibrant Twitter stream from a South-of-England mutual, the Saffron Building Society. One day, they wrote about Money Dashboard. Conscientiously or not, the SBS team may have pointed to the future.

Money Dashboard gathers up financial connections and puts them in one place. You get a go-to destination for your finances.

Gavin Littlejohn’s team of ex-Scottish banking and financial guys began in 2006. 2008 saw it became part of Microsoft’s Biz Spark programme.

Its a great idea and I wish Money Dashboard well. And its got me thinking…

make your bank work for you

The banks are arrogant. They’ve got you and your money and its a pain to move. But what if you didn’t have to do anything to move banks?

What if you had a service like Money Dashboard, but able to move your money automatically to whichever bank offered the best deal?

Imagine this. You sign up to the service and it becomes your banking “wallet”. The service monitors the market, moving your money to where it works best.

Virtualise your bank

Yes, I know, you say “what about my direct debits, standing orders and the like?”

Well, those would stay put – or rather they’d simply stay within your “dashboard”. Your payments would just be pointed to whatever bank was holding your money. The service could even work with loans and maybe mortgages, too.

The dashboard would be the smart end, the banks just dumb money stores you’d never have to deal with. Poetic really, seeing as they don’t want to deal with you!

Regulation – not re-organisation

Such a service couldn’t happen currently. But all that would be needed is some legislation to be tabled forcing the banks to allow same-day account moves.

That could work – new boutique bank Metro can open an account in ten minutes!

The banks are adept at avoiding any move to break them up, but would have to comply with such account handling changes, which would be a trivial process. After all, they move money all the time internally!

Money dashboards could force a workable revolution within the banking market. Time to pull some strings!

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