API 'co-op'(ish) physical branches

(Matthew Hornby) #1

I was listening to Radio 4 on the way home tonight, (in my van, I’m not dead posh or anything but the ariel got snapped off, so I have limited reception) and there was an item about traditional banks closing branch, leaving communities in the lurch. I’m sure even the most rabid of us Monzo fans would admit sometimes it’s really handy to be able to go and do a cash transaction.

This got me thinking, why would future branches be limited to one bank when the new API system is introduced? Could an independent, (looking at you Monzo) open a high street branch looking after multiple account providers? Charge fees to the other banks that use the service to make profit, but capture all the local trade too, possibly converting them to the Monzo brand

Wish I had an appetite for entrepreneurial risk. I’d be all over it!

Halifax Flagship Branch
(Hugh) #2

That’s actually a really, really cool idea :smiley:

The PostOffice already provide a range of over the counter services - I know they can cash cheques and you can cash/withdraw physical currency but with Open Banking it will be interesting to see whether they can evolve this to a) cover pretty much any bank b) offer more services
I don’t know if an independent provider could ever make any money from running branches - they aren’t cheap but it would certainly be a novel idea.

My parents used to bank with Norwich and Peterborough, they ditched all their Current Accounts and closed branches this summer so they switched to the other bank in town - NatWest, only to find that 4 months later their branch will be closing.
I think the lack of branches may well be an accident waiting to happen with legacy banks…

(Bradley) #3

I saw this morning about Natwest closing high street branches. I think this is a great idea, but I wonder how it would fit in with Monzo’s current ‘branchless’ business model?

One other possible way to do this would be for Monzo to operate all-in-one stations at which you can deposit cash and cheques, as well as withdraw money, change pin etc. HSBC and many other banks already operate such machines, but perhaps Monzo could look at setting up such stations in places like supermarkets? Imagine the good PR if Monzo were to do this in one of the recently affected rural locations!


To be honest the Post Office is well capable of doing all of this. But Monzo will have to pay to arrange this. I would suggest Monzo deducted 1 or 2£ from the deposit to cover the costs.

What most people don’t know is that almost all banks allow you to deposit cash straight away into your account by handing the card to the cashier and swipping it. Some post office cashiers get a little bit confused but it is possible.

Re the cheques, it would have no value. What the PO does is to mail them for free to your bank. Some of them will even give you a bank branded envelope that you can just put in any mailbox whenever you want.

This comes from my experience of when I lived in rural Scotland and the post office where our only way to bank.

Halifax Flagship Branch
(Craig A Rodway) #5

I thought about a similar concept a while ago, too! But without the main entity being an actual bank.

One premises, a communal public waiting area, and multiple desks/areas occupied by one or more members of staff from each of the participating banks. Then replicate this wherever there is demand for a handful of banks to want a presence but not necessarily the overhead of their own branch building.

Sort of like a an indoor market, but for banking services, and more comfortable :thinking: :slight_smile: