We’ve been giving thought to our mission recently; to why we really exist, beyond what we do or how we do it. It’s not just a vanity thing or a tick-box exercise. Having a clear idea of why we’re here helps us in a few ways:
- It’s a check on where we’re heading: our mission should be something we can measure decisions against. Is this new thing we’re building going to get us closer to the mission? If not, should we be doing it at all?
- It keeps us together: as we grow, it gets harder (but not impossible!) to foster a shared set of core values. One clear mission is something everyone can have in common.
- It helps us grow: people should be able to look at our mission and say ‘that’s something I believe in too’ – whether they’re existing customers, potential new ones, or even prospective employees.
In the past, we’ve talked about being a financial control centre (which sounds a little like the cockpit of a jumbo jet), or about having the best current account in the world (which we’re still very keen on!). But those things never got to the heart of what we’re really here for. So we did some soul-searching, and here it is:
In part, this is a nod to Apple’s ‘It just works’. Money doesn’t need to be complicated or stressful. We believe we can make it just work. Our terms and conditions are one small example of this – just 800 words long, with a reading age of 11.
There’s also an element of ‘putting your money to work’. We want to make sure that everyone gets the most out of their money, whether that’s cashback or rewards, making smart investment decisions, or finding affordable ways to borrow.
Finally, there’s ‘for everyone’. In part, this is about the scale of our ambition: the next generation of banks will serve a billion people. But it’s also about inclusion and our social mission. We don’t believe it’s possible to build a globally impactful company without carefully considering the impact we have on society. We want to use that impact to leave the world a little better than we found it.
So right now we’re building the best bank account we possibly can. One that gives you instant control over your money, helps you budget better, and doesn’t hit you with unfair fees when you spend money abroad or exceed your overdraft limit. We wrap all of that up in a genuinely enjoyable experience, with friendly human help, and a constant feedback loop with our customers so we’re always improving.
In the future, we hope you’ll trust us to be the centre of your financial life. We’ll take away all the painful admin and worry over whether you’re making the most of your money. You’ll never have to shop around for the best energy tariff, because we’ll automatically make sure you’ve got the best deal. Never have to worry about when your car tax is due, because we’ll renew it for you (or send you reminders, if you’d rather do it yourself). Never have to panic in the checkout queue that you might be out of money, because we’ll always give you plenty of notice if you’re running short. You’ll be effortlessly financially savvy.
And that’s something that should be available to everyone. Too many people struggle to get access to banking services because they’ve been in debt, or they’ve just arrived in the country, or they’ve had a tough time in life. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to take control of their financial life, without exorbitant fees or the stress of dealing with complex faceless systems.
To build a business that can achieve these goals, we need to turn a profit. But we won’t take every chance to make money; we only want to benefit when our customers do too. People will stick with us because they trust we’re on their side, and they think it’s fair that we succeed when we make their lives easier. We believe these values will make us a success, and help make money work for everyone.