Bó (Natwest/RBS challenger brand) chat

It’s just a rebrand. I downloaded the Virgin Money app today and simply logged in using my B credentials. Last week, in the B app, the account names changed to ‘VM Current’ ‘VM Saving’.

Over the coming years Clydesdale and Yorkshire will be similarly rebranded and consolidated.

My understanding is that there are changes in fees, etc. and direction as well. Meaning it’s not just a rebrand.

1 Like

No changes on that front thus far. Allegedly in 2020 they’ll be making things cheaper but it’s lost oh my why it didn’t correlate to account launch.

They’ve removed some fees as of two days ago. But your comment says it as well, it’s not just a rebrand.

What fees have they removed? I admittedly only looked at their international card usage and payment fees which don’t look to have been improved.

Anybody signed up to this and actually think it’s any good? The adverts on Facebook seem to be littered with comments on how bad the name is and how poor the adverts are too! Not sure I’ve come across a good review apart from those initial ones that were considered a bit dubious.

The name is enough to stop me from signing up it’s really awful.

I’ve had the Bo card for a month or so. So far had no reason to use it. At the moment, it’s just a card with a pot. No unique features, no other products. It does have Apple Pay and Google Pay.

It seems to be targeted as a spending account alongside a full account and particularly at under-25s who want to get a handle on their spending. The blog is all about how to save money on a night out and what you need to know about student loans and credit scores…

I can’t believe that after acquiring Loot, all the staff… being so much later to the party than everyone else and having the backing of RBS/Natwest behind them the offering is what it is, and the manner in which it was released was so underwhelming. Maybe they are working on something very cool behind the scenes, a game changer, because if they aren’t I can’t see it lasting too long (even if Natwest do have deep pockets).

It’s a copycat offer from a high Street bank. It wasn’t ever going to be anywhere near groundbreaking.

Bó is a test bed for NatWest to eventually move it’s customers onto new full–stack tech, but it needs early adopters to put the tech through its paces.

It’s still ‘just NatWest’.

1 Like

I only got one to use when travelling. Unfortunately I’m away for 3 weeks in a place that prefers cash over card (some places charge 6% if you want to pay on card!!). So I’ve needed to withdraw lots of cash and monzos £200 fee free limit is too low for this. That’s the only reason I’ll use it though, full monzo for everything else :slight_smile:

I think that imagining that legacy banks can suddenly adapt in the face of a disruptive challenge to the status quo is like imagining that hair metal bands of the 80s could have started making grunge and been successful after Nirvana dropped “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

Not to sound complacent, but there’s a reason that Microsoft never made Chrome and Apple didn’t make Spotify. Years down the line, Microsoft have effectively been forced into using Chromium as the base for their new browser and Apple had to buy Beats and are still struggling to compete with Spotify.

6 Likes

So the legacy bank will have to pay top dollar for a successful fintech bank :rofl::eyes:

1 Like

Oh for sure. I’d expect a handful of acquisitions over the next few years, but if we continue on the path we’re on we won’t be one of them :raised_hands:

5 Likes

I agree with Simon. What is surprising is how, despite several examples of where established businesses have failed to do this kind of thing before, Bo still believe they can actually ‘add-value’ to Natwest by doing what they are doing. Perhaps they can, but it will be at a huge expense, and incredibly inefficient. It is a classic example of a cash rich institution with a complacent attitude and a relatively comfortable position in the market (currently), believing they don’t need to deal with this threat with any urgency. Kodak took the same approach in the 2000’s.

Also whoever did their marketing… awful.

Saying that, I think Monzo is becoming a tad complacent too :wink: , but that’s another story.

Prediction: Bo folds in a year and Natwest buy a digital banking service, perhaps one of the money management apps like Emma.

:sweat_smile:

1 Like

What I find interesting about all the challengers (And I include Revolut/Starling too) is having the time to ‘try’ them.

I want my money organised. I got Monzo with no real investigation about competitors etc. My boss raved about it and I originally used it as a ‘spends’ card and now I’m full Monzo.

But to try another one seems like too much effort for me. New accounts, moving money around. Another app. I’m not going to set up direct debits to test how they deal with it. I can’t see how the app performs/looks without an account and money in there.

To me there’s just too much friction to even give one of the others a try. Maybe I’m missing out, maybe I’m not, but one of them would have to offer something really good for me to put the effort in to giving it a try.

5 Likes

Unexpected so soon

3 Likes

That is unexpected. Of note;

A spokesman for RBS did not respond to a request for comment

“You had one job…”

6 Likes

Bó-bye! :wave:

8 Likes