RBS plans on opening a digital challenger bank


Why would it be?

(Alex Sherwood) #84

If it doesn’t matter then why did you bring it up?


Just highlighting that those features are currently all Monzo has over most high street banks, and you don’t need to set up an entirely new bank to add them

(Alex Sherwood) #86

They’re not, check out the link I shared in this post.


Eh, I have reservations about whether adding comparethemarket.com in to the app will mark a huge shift in how financial services work.

(Alex Sherwood) #88

Let’s wait & see whether that’s what Monzo does or whether they do something better :slight_smile:

And the service, as opposed to product, orientation is a lot more than just adding a marketplace btw (see the link :wink:).

(Christopher) #89

Lee this is very interesting. I didn’t watch the Open Office unfortunately. Was there any discussion around why Monzo thinks this is? Are they asking Monzo customers? And is there any work to address this? I think it’s safe to say we all probably have a few hunches of our own…

The NatWest product talks about a Market Place solution, rather than offering a basket of ‘conventional’ banking products so what would seal the deal for you, in terms of differentiation?

(lee) #90

I didn’t attend but someone posted the graphs in the thread and the video is available to watch too (i’m only part way through).

Sealing the deal - probably a hybrid/somewhere in between monzo/starling and the big 4.

The marketplace from anyone (challenger/legacy) just seems like a mis-selling investigation waiting to happen in some areas. (which is no doubt why monzo’s got a disclaimer about making your own decision). Taking commissions and showing deals that aren’t necessarily the best value. Especially when you could get whole of market and the cashback or incentive yourself outside of an integrated version. Doesn’t seem to me that ethical to promote this to customers dumb/ignorant enough not to check, nor business savvy to rely that people that wont - because plenty will go direct anyway!

(Alex Sherwood) #91

emphasis mine

I’m pretty sure we don’t know that, that’s what Monzo’s going to do yet, in fact, I’d be Very surprised if it was. And as you pointed out, that wouldn’t be too smart :wink:

(lee) #92

It was based off the demo details shown which highlights the problems they could run into. Example, bulb - cant you get it with a bigger incentive from others, plus its not the cheapest. And there’s 4 suppliers out of 200 or so.
How can they recommend without having any of your details like a comparison site - its purely driven by commission to make them money.

Sure go on a crap deal - we’ll get paid either way :roll_eyes:

Personally i think they’ve a big enough job trying to be a bank rather then a comparison site.
Jack of all trades.

(Alex Sherwood) #93

So I’m going to go away & try to find the last positive post you wrote about anything Monzo related. And by the time I’ve finished searching, Monzo will have released the marketplace (not a beta test) & then we can judge whether the marketplace is really any good or not :slightly_smiling_face:

(lee) #94

I bet i’m quicker at finding one with you generally upsetting people :wink:

In all seriousness Alex if they dont want people to question they shouldn’t have a forum.

What i say is fair and balanced but if you don’t agree, oh well. Enjoy searching my old posts!


The problem I have with the marketplace model is this:

It’s essentially just fancy talk for advertising. Apart from the fact that noone likes advertising, as far as I can see there are two way of implementing it:

  1. they could make it dumb. I.e. not analyse you, but show the same products / ads to everyone. Apart from that just being boring, we all know that non targeted advertising isn’t where the money is.
  2. or they could make it targeted. Analyse your spending, your profile, your location history, etc. That becomes creepy. People let Facebook etc get away with it, because there is no real alternative. But there are plenty of Monzo alternatives (ie free, or “free” bank accounts), so I at least would not choose monzo if they went down this route.

I’m genuinely curious if / how they can make the marketplace model work, and if they can come up with a 3rd way of building it.

(Christopher) #97

Nanos, what does a hybrid model look like for you? I think you are correct re: tracking a la Facebook. There’s a real sense that attitudes have become more hostile towards the means, type and amount of data collected on us by all manner of different businesses. Maybe transparency (where appropriate (!) ) will be one way to navigate the mess…

However, your bank already holds a huge amount of information on you; how much you earn, how and where you spend your money, how profitable you are, and your future prospects as a customer. And they use this information to provide targeted products and services, so you might argue that the marketplace model opens up this opportunity to outside providers who want and need to win your business, making for a more competitive playing field. HSBC are already in the arena, and RBS have stated this the model for their new bank, so the legacy banks are on board.

The other side of the argument is that we don’t necessarily want to share financial information, even if it’s regulated. It’s imperative that people are not excluded from accessing financial services should they not wish to share their data - and I personally believe we do need a choice. China, with their social credit scoring system offers a glimpse of what happens when that choice is removed.

(Sorry, registration maybe required)

The Open Banking site explains some real world use cases, I found it helps contextualise the marketplace model. I totally recommend checking it out if you haven’t already: https://www.openbanking.org.uk/home/insight/


I don’t know. And I’m not really having the time or energy to hypothesize about this :slight_smile: Obviously you have put a great deal more thought into it than I have.

My only point is if a bank relies too much on “marketplace” aka advertisement for being profitable, I’m not sure that’s really going to work in 2018. (Just to make sure I’m not misunderstood: I’m not saying “I don’t think it’ll work” - I’m far too unqualified to say that -, I’m just saying “I’m not sure it’ll work”.)

As I said: I’m curious what they come up with.

(Richard) #99

Certainly an interesting move by RBS. Even more interesting that they are developing off site.

But if they can build an app based bank with some of the features we get with Monzo and combine that with some of the useful features that RBS/Natwest customers currently get (Apple pay, withdrawing cash without card from RBS/Natwest ATMs) - then it could be very disruptive.

Especially if they add the ability to deposit cheques in a branch/post office as exisitng customers do (similar to how First direct customers can deposit cheques into HSBC branches).


Out of interest did he mention how much of those costs are made up of branches and handling cash?

(Christopher) #101

The flattery! What can I say nanos, I am a thoughtful person.

I agree, I think sole reliance on marketplace to drive profitability might be a bit os a stretch. But as a revenue driver, I think it has the potential to be a solid stream, and certainly seems to have worked well for a number successful businesses. Luckily, there’s a few other elements to the profitability picture namely; cost base, cost of capital and scale, which hopefully the business can balance.

Like you, I am curious (and excited) to see what the outcome will be

Chimpofdoom +1. Interesting Barclays in the UK and various banks in France have been trialing ‘paying in’ cheques by mobile. There are of course limitations, but it’s fascinating to see this development given where we are today with banktech, and that cheques were due to be phased out by the end of this year if adequate alternatives were in place. I do wonder how relevant this is to RBS’ target user base for the new bank though.

(Richard) #102

Yeah read about the trial when they started it and never heard anything since. I’d be in favour of paying in cheques via mobile (as it’s one of the few reasons I step foot into my bank (happens to be RBS)).

But, yes, how relevant is it for the new bank? Who knows, but until cheques are phased out, even if it’s not relevant to the target base, offering the facility for a ‘what if’ scenario is useful.

(Caspar) #103

The plan is dead, and branches are to be closed instead of being spun off as a new brand, which is sad - though it sounds like they’re mostly those which are in close proximity to a Natwest so there’s an overlap. (I’ve had so many letters about my account being transferred from one ‘company’ to another within RBS I’m baffled, especially when it doesn’t really affect the amount whatsoever, but I guess there are regulations saying customers have to be notified when the bank changes, even if it’s just an internal shuffle.)

RBS had planned to launch Williams & Glyn as a separate “challenger bank” but has decided not to go ahead with this. The business, including its branch network, is being reintegrated into the group.