So, banking apps are on their way to being redundant after all?

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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. It certainly 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.Click To Tweet

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 re-imagine 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. SeccoBy 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.

Why am I so excited about Secco Bank?

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 non-essential 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 are not talking about 'disruption' anymore ... it's the beginning of the 're-imagination' of banking.Click To Tweet

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 licence from the UK regulators haven’t generated such a buzz as Secco:

  • Tandem Bank – Because it is 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.

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About 

A marketing expert for the first-to-be-licensed E-Money institute in Germany, PayCenter GmbH. He has experience in developing online marketing campaigns, online & mobile product launches, and EU funding regulation. He is an active fintech blogger with interests in online banking, mobile banking, mobile payment, and insurance.

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  3 comments for “So, banking apps are on their way to being redundant after all?

  1. 16. November 2015 at 12:10

    I would understand if those new fresh banking initiatives will conduct to a bubble or will be disruptive for old and static big player.

    Until now big and not big banks was innovating with new “digital and smart” features and services but IT speaking thay added a lot of new layer (esb, web, mobile, pfm, api,..) to a complex IT legacy system that they are continuing to use the same system projected and built on 70’s.

    I was a programmer, than an IT Architecture, now an Innovator. I have seen many banking projects in my life but no one of them had the purpose to build a new bank from scratch without a core banking out of the box or a sort of a previous similar core system already in place or existing.
    While Atom will use a out of the box core banking (FIS probably) player like Starling and Secco would be make a full stack bank.

    From my point of view all big banks should make it but without starting migration (too much risk, money and time) but to make a new fintech bank (real-time, with low IT, new functionality, IT Open). The advantage over other competitors is on trust and reputation.

    The question is “Why big banks did not start new bank like starling, secco?”

    • 16. November 2015 at 20:49

      There lies in the problem. The majority of banks have an asymmetric risk profile for innovation. Unlike Secco, Sterling ans other “challenger banks” banks would face severe consequences if they started from scratch. As such, banks cannot fully and in real-time embrace the technological revolution that’s facilitating the challenger banks. “Re-imagining” banking involves freedom, pace, energy, adaptability and flexibility. Secco Bank is focused on singular use case solutions and has the ability and opportunity to think narrow and deep. Bottom line is, big banks are anchored by their legacy systems which they continue to tinker with.

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