Chris Gledhall and Secco (bank) are on a mission. I have to admit the whole premise of doing away with banks and banking apps is ingenious! Since the advent of social media channels, banks have always had a weakness ready to be exploited, and this could be attributed to rigidity and an inherent unwillingness to adapt to new realities.
By positioning itself between offline and online banking, Secco has exposed the flawed strategy that banks continue to adopt. Banks have for a while now been operating on the notion that simply moving banking online equates to innovation. 21st century anyone? Banks are yet to wake up to the reality of digitization.
With every new mobile banking app in the market, the public opinion trajectory has been sliding rapidly from innovative, a must-have, to complicated, to downright unimaginative. Don’t consumers deserve to have the whole banking process simplified and streamlined? After all, we are in the age of digitization, iPhones and cool. Why can’t banking be anything other than cumbersome? Can banks keep blaming regulation? A majority of bank executives will continue to do so, but the reality is, the banking public has moved into the 21st century and banks have not.
I have previously talked about the fact that banks needed to reimagine banking in the 21st century. It looks like Secco and other challenger banks will be beating banks to this effort. By reinventing banking, Secco will manage to present banking ‘with options’ that are lock-in-step with a digitized public. Whereas banks are construed as rigid, Secco is one of the vanguards ushering in an era of convenient banking.
What I find critical to the Secco premise is the idea of transactions as interactions meant to blend in with your normal day-to-day digital interactions. By harmonizing your digital interactions with your banking and payment needs, Secco will allow you to seamlessly focus on what’s important to you at any given point without setting aside time just for banking.
Reimagining banking apps
Why am I so excited at the idea of Secco? Because I’m tired of simply testing banking apps. Over the last two years, I have used numerous banking apps that were first billed as ‘the ideal banking app’. They’ve become bloated with nonessential features, and even the multi-banking options they’ve been offering do not live up to their standards.
From the outset, Secco is setting out to try to completely reinvent banking. We’re not talking about ‘disruption’ anymore – it’s the beginning of the ‘re-imagination’ of banking. Should banks be worried? Yes. It may well turn out to be the stroke of genius that gets the ball rolling on forcing banks to do something that resembles innovation.
In comparison, the other challenger banks with a restricted banking license from the UK regulators haven’t generated such a buzz as Secco:
- Tandem Bank – Because it’s set up as a PFM product, it will never be for the customer who wants branch banking.
- Starling Bank – Starling is offering a current account designed to be managed on a smartphone.
- Atom Bank – Atom is mainly offering one-stop digital banking.
- Civilized Bank – Civilized is offering business current accounts, transaction banking, overdrafts, currency exchange, investments, savings and loans to SMEs with plans to expand into retail banking (specifically savings and investments) at a later date.
- Lintel Bank – Lintel is planning to target the banking needs of foreign students in the UK.
- Mondo – The Mondo app enables you to set up real-time notifications that say how much you’ve spent daily, or whether you’re going into overdraft.
Now that the cat’s out of the bag, let me know what you think of the Secco bank’s preposition, and what Chris Gledhall and co are trying to achieve.