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In recent years, mis-selling scandals have rocked the UK banks—at the last count, more than £27bn has been set aside for PPI compensation. That’s more than £400 for every man, woman & child in the UK. And that’s just one of the raft of misdeeds for which customers are seeking redress.
At the heart of the problem is a culture of “owning the customer” and cross-selling. Typically, banks aim to attract customers with loss-making introductory offers like cash-back on spending, free travel insurance, or a cash lump-sum for switching. Banks then feel like they “own” the customer, and proceed to cross-sell higher-profit financial products like credit cards, mortgages and loans.
Because of this customer lock-in, there’s little incentive to improve the price or customer experience. Products offered by the high-street banks are rarely the most attractive on the market, so customers end up paying over-the-odds.
Sometimes, people within these banks come up with new innovations that would benefit the customer—low-cost peer-to-peer currency exchange, for example. But since these ideas would undermine banks’ profits, they rarely see the light of day.
Instead, it takes new money-transfer businesses like TransferWise and Azimo to offer market-leading foreign exchange. And lenders like Funding Circle, Zopa and Ratesetter offer loans at incredibly attractive rates, whilst simultaneously paying investors much higher interest (albeit with capital at risk). What’s more, you can sign up for these services in minutes, compared to the days or weeks it takes the legacy high-street banks.
It might seem remarkable that these new companies can offer both better price and better customer experience. But this isn’t a new phenomenon—it’s the relentless march of technology. It’s why Uber can send a black town-car to pick you up outside your front door in 3 minutes at half the cost of a black cab.
This is why Mondo has a singular focus— to build the best current account in the world—rather than selling dozens of different financial products. We can focus on what we know best, whilst offering our customers access to the best products & services from across the market.
If you have some money left over at the end of the month, imagine being able to move it into a P2P lending platform with one click. Or being able to choose a mortgage from any one of a number of providers based on your previous spending habits and income. If you want to transfer money abroad, you should be able to choose which provider to use based on your own priorities, and then move money with a couple of clicks.
Integrating with innovative financial services and technology providers is an obvious step to giving customers control over their money. Instead of thinking we “own the customer”, Mondo users will have the power to choose, based on price, convenience and customer-service.
The bank of the future will be a marketplace.
We recently updated our name to Monzo! Read more about it here.