I start this week’s blog with a surreal quote from Mike Ritchie. He really did say this in a meeting, he did, I have witnesses. I am not sure if he stumbled across a sect of weird camel breeders or this was the result of a particularly bad fever. You may want to ask him. Thinking about it, this would make a particularly good title for a song for a prog rock band. If you are not sure what prog rock is, have a browse of the back catalogues of Yes, Curved Air, ELP or some other 70’s monstrosity on the Tesco Bank Spotify Radio app when it gets released. You will get the idea.
Talking of surreal, I witnessed a man on the bus this morning reading The Gambler by Dostoyevksy. Edinburgh must be a city of heavy weight intellectuals for this to happen. I have never seen this happen in Leeds, mind you, I don’t get on buses in Leeds but I am sure they don’t as being an intellectual is generally frowned upon in Yorkshire. I don’t know if it is a good book but I bet David McConchie has read it so you could ask him.
Most of the team was in the pub last night to mark Jo V’s departure and Steve Kerr’s imminent departure. I would like to thank them both for all they have done for Tesco bank and wish them well with their new contracting careers. I believe by the end of the evening Jo was doing a very good impression of somebody who wasn’t too familiar with the concept of standing up! That’s the danger of ‘shots’ I am afraid, they seem like a great idea at the time and go down very well but they extract an enormous cost. Hence, I ran away when they came out. Unfortunately, one half of the ‘Black Ops’ duo failed to do this and this morning resembled the very definition of dishevelled.
Whilst we are saying goodbye we are also saying hello to a couple of people. Jason Tully joined the Compare team this week as a Developer. On Monday Markos Charatzas will join us as an App Developer. Markos will initially be focussing on the Mobile banking iOS app. I am sure you will all make both of them feel very welcome.
I met with Serge van Dam, VP Market Development, from FiServe this morning and we had a very interesting conversation. I asked him about the threats and opportunities that he saw in the banking industry and he had some really interesting thoughts that I will share with you. The first being the opportunity for Digital banks, after all who goes to a branch these days? A great opportunity to undercut your competition by having a slim cost base. The second being productless banking because he observed that Millennials don’t care about products. They just see their banks as somewhere where they have debits and credits, so how do we market to them particularly as we are geared to offer and service products? Thirdly, the rise of the mobile only banking consumer. If they never engage with you any other way, how do you market to them? A problem that vexed Facebook and impacted their share price as the rise of mobile connections made investors nervous about the amount of screen they could dedicate to commercial activities. Fourth, proactive banking. Banks know a lot about consumers so why don’t they proactively offer services to customers that they know they will need? He also name checked a few banks he thought were providing a really good experience and some that had some really good propositions. Commonwealth and Westpac, from next month when they launch their re-design, for their user experience. Bluebird, a JV between Walmart and American express, has around 3 million customers and appeals to the the under banked in the US. Their offering looks good, go and have a look. Go Bank, has a really interesting proposition in that it provides its’ customers with an option on how much to pay each month for their services. Customers are free to opt to pay nothing but despite this the bank still generates $3.40 per month per customer.
What has tripled in the last 4 years? Mobile internet users. See link.
Do you like making lists? I do and if you do, you are also in very good company.
“Mobile itself, Miner says, is broadening from experiences limited to the phone to those that touch the rest of our lives.” A quote from this article that is well worth a read.
Finally, if you see me walking around the office with a stranger gait than usual, the reason will be that I have my over sized phone in my pocket. I made the switch to Android last weekend and upgraded to an S3 Note. I love the features and speed of Android but I am beginning to regret the size. I may have to buy a ‘man bag’! I am sure some of the ladies in the team can offer me some advice.
Have a great weekend everyone.