Interesting article on how challenger banks have broken the mould

Hi all

I came across this article yesterday about what challenger banks have been doing differently - and thus how they’re likely to be changing customer expectations.

What I’m sharing is only meant to be the first chapter of a whole series to be published, but there’s certainly a lot to agree with. There have recently been quite a few posts on the Community Boards with a tone of disillusionment, and it’s easy for us to forget just how dramatic the changes spearheaded by the challengers have been - from the widely copied ability to freeze cards to viewing transactions on a map - and that’s without even mentioning the no-fee transactions abroad.

This first chapter focuses on account opening. Here’s one graphic to whet your appetite. I’m looking forward to the next few chapters being released :+1:


It would seem people have different requirements with the same bank for differing reasons. I’m not quite sure why that is, or what exactly triggers what process you will have to go through.

By active account they mean receiving the card and having online/app banking set up and working. When I had nationwide, it went as follows: a few days for the card to arrive, then had to apply for telephone banking and wait for the code to arrive through the post in order to then apply for online banking and wait for another code. I had to repeat this again for another code to register for the app. The whole process took a little over 3 weeks.

I didn’t have to go to a Barclays ATM or do anything in particular to activate my Barclays account, my account was activated from the outset with online banking readily available as soon as the card and pinsentry arrived, which was 2 or 3 days after applying. I opened it before they even had so much as an app on the App Store. The app requires an ATM visit if your pinsentry doesn’t work or were not provided one for some reason, but you can always request a new one from online banking. I do wish they would do away with these contraptions though. It’s unnecessary and annoying security theatre. Yuk.

I had to jump through some hoops updating my linked account with Marcus which meant the process took a few weeks to complete, though I know other people have been able change their’s much more easily and quickly. Again security theatre. Marcus knows my trusted devices, because they perform 2 factor authentication each time I log in from a new device for the first time, so they know this request came from a trusted device that would have had to pass 3 factors of authentication to make the request. Yuk.

I presume they included revolut, because, despite not being a regulated bank, they do offer a full featured current account equivalent, so people can still use them as their bank account for the most part if the want to.

It was an interesting piece and I’ll tune in for the follow-ups.

Of course, it’s possible to get a working bank account in about 15 minutes by visiting a Metro Bank branch, where they’ll issue a card on the spot, but I get that to be equal he did everything online.

He did address that with HSBC in the article, and put it down to having to make allowances for Covid-19.

Podcast with the guy behind -

Pretty cool project I think.

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