Defining the competition

Today, you need to keep up with the trends, keep on top of the technology and compete with the competition. But how do you do that if you can’t define who or what you’re looking for.

The credit and debit card world is essentially an ecosystem that ranges from e-wallets and bank issuers to online and in-store credit providers and in that ecosystem what used to just be a simple journey between consumer, card and spending has now been heavily disrupted so much so that now the consumer demands efficiency, reliability, and much easier methods than a chip and pin piece of plastic. This demand lead to the introduction of online, mobile and cloud based banking services.

Being the inpatient 20-year-old that I am, I find that not having access to real time notifications or even an app that doesn’t request a physical login each time can be a bit of an annoyance. Unfortunately, we aren’t living in my ideal real-time modern world which is sometimes a burden to me– waiting to understand why your available balance is lower than the balance your bank app shows being a good example. The problem is, me and a lot of other people are never just completing one task. We’re consuming content on multiple screens, listening to content whilst shopping, and watching product reviews whilst cooking the dinner… you get the picture, time is precious and many of us are searching for the most efficient option for spending it.

So, all of the above got me thinking about demographics, target audiences and consumer demand which lead me onto the interesting topic of competition. It’s the 21st century and big banks are feeling a little outdated to me, their technology is behind, customer service can be shocking and even the product offering can be a little disappointing. Let me expand:

  1. Technology, well as mentioned above my main bank still takes a few days before they can show me what money has left my account and for what reason? I’m a loyal customer and working for a bank I know it can be difficult to update large systems however, I recently find myself logging into the banking apps to see stacked transactions named “Monzo”. Yes, that is correct, I’ve been transferring my money from my current account into a pre-paid Mastercard – why you ask? Because Monzo is a bank built for this digital age. Gone are the days of waiting days for notifications, Monzo pings my phone within 3 or so SECONDS of me scanning or using my card. Monzo even allows you to top up your account within the app using apple pay! So why would I want to use an app that doesn’t use touch ID?
  2. Customer Service, this is a touch and go subject as I could name a few banks that I have dealt with whom have given me speedy responses on the likes of social media but on the other hand I have dealt with a bank that should have really stayed within the supermarket industry because there online platform is outdated, their customer service is appalling and it took almost 5 weeks for my address to be updated on their system (thanks to all of the above). Using Monzo as an example again, everything is easy. Literally opening the app enables me to access everything at the touch of my hand. Never mind messenger chat bots, Monzo have coded their live chat into the Monzo app directly meaning you can start your conversation and be ready to have it resolved right there at your fingertips without having to leave their platform – I’d love to know what their app dwell time is as I bet it is impressive!
  3. Products change as the market does but relating a little back to outdated technology, I have 2 cards in my purse that don’t even have contactless integrated?! I’m not even sure why this is still a thing but it shouldn’t be.

So what can you take away from this blog post? Well, if you hadn’t heard of Monzo, you have now. It’s a new and exciting digital revolution that has truly disrupted the market in a good way. It’s not your usual ‘competitor’ brand and some big banks probably don’t even acknowledge it being on the radar but my Spidey senses are tingling and this business is going to be one to watch. They have recently been granted a full banking licence so have swiftly been dishing out current accounts (something I am still unfortunately on the waiting list for, Monzo if you’re reading this please be a pal and bump me up in the queue).

These smaller, more digital banks may have a little further to go in terms of attracting a broad range of customers but for now they’re doing the right thing in terms of increasing usability and answering the demand for quick, seamless technology.

Thanks for reading,

Lucy

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