Business Banking the Future.

In 2014, I set up my first business. 

In the long list of things, I had to do was open a business bank account. 

So, I trotted off to my high street bank and said 

“Can I Open a Business Bank Account?”

“Of couse sir, no problem, can you let us have 2 years’ worth of accounts?”

“I’m a new start up business”, I said 

            “Sorry Sir, we will need some examples of your business dealings

            “Have you got some utility bills in the business name?” 

“No, as I explained, I am new business I don’t have anything as I need a business bank account”, I replied 

            “Oh, Dear sir, that is an issue” 

            “Maybe we could have your First Born Child as collateral sir, or maybe you could give us a kidney?”

You get the picture – total lack of understanding of what a new business is. 

Eventually after trying virtually every high street bank, I got an account with Santander – who were great over the four years I had the business.

So, its 2019 and I have a new business and I needed a new business account. 

What do I do??

Open my phone

Download an App

Pop in very basic details 

Scan my Passport

Take a Selfie 

And Viola - One business bank account in less than 5 minutes one Thursday evening 

Saturday Morning the Bank Card arrives – open the app confirm the card and get a PIN

Four Years and business banking has been totally disrupted, Now the fee structure is a little higher, but it totally fits my needs and it took less that 5 minutes.

This was with a new disruptor bank called TIDE, there are other banks like Starling Bank, and Coconut that offer the same sort of set up and similar fees.

In the next four years I predict that a high street bank could get bought by a start-up, following a massive loss of confidence following a data breach or hack.

Now there are those that say, it will be the other way around with the high street banks buying the disruptors, but as many banks are so behind with their internal tech implementations, with some are still using Office 2010, when they realise they need to take over these businesses, it will be too late and “the apprentice will become the master”

My Two Favourite Words in Marketing

It's simple really, the two words that marketers needs to learn are Disruption and Engagement.

And they go together perfectly, you disrupt a market by engaging with your customers, in new and innovating ways (for your market). The ways you actually innovate are probably not new, in fact other markets have been doing it this for years, it's just that your market isn't doing it. Because it is stuck in the past without either the vision or the hipsters in plac,e to make it happen.

I would love to say I'm a young cool hipster type, I'm not in fact the young col hipster types are doing young cool hipster type things, the real business is done by middle aged marketers who wish they were young hipster types bad just steal their cool ideas and pass it off as their ideas and in the process making people thing they are hipsters, instead do good marketeers.

So disruption and engagement, how do you do it? It's simple go and look at the new startups that are appearing on Kickstarter and Indigogo looks how they are positioning their products and services, and copy the implementation, how they are engaging with their potential audiences, it's not just with a cool new innovative products, but the way they approach the market.

Then, how they keep in touch with their market via social networks. The MD who is not on social media, is out of touch, the excuses that they are, to busy, don't want people to know what they are doing and for many who just don't get it, time to retire.

Why Debt Management is Lagging Behind Online

“Online budgeting tools have significant potential for growth. Just over half of the internet population show an interest in using this type of service in the future. Under-45s and higher earners are much more likely than average to see the appeal of tools that help them to keep track of their finances.”

– Deborah Osguthorpe, Head of UK Financial Services Research Mintel

So why don't any of the major debt management brands even a mobile responsive website? Let alone an App.

Do a search for debt management on Google - all you see is a load of companies with "debt" in their name - they are faceless - they want you to fill out a form - they they will call you back and manage your accounts over the phone.

Being in debt is a scary thing and most people do not want to face up to it, and they defiantly don't want a long phone conversation with a salesman. They want to sort it discretely under the radar. in private.

The opportunity to disrupt the debt management market is staring business in the face - so why are they doing it?

Technology & investment - it is a tough market and margins are tight. Spend tens of thousands of pounds on a unproven market is scary - but it needs to happen, Technology and peoples expectations are pushing investment across all financial services verticals and very soon someone will do this and potentially dominate the market with a stand out product that is simple discrete and most dangerously free (Step Change).

A Simple Free App with some back up could decimate the debt management market.

Why Has the Debt Management Market Stagnated?

The debt management search market has been flat in terms of growth in searches since 2011 – in the middle of one of the worst recessions in recent times, Why?


source Google Trends

source Google Trends

You would have thought it would have grown as more and more people struggled with debt – but it hasn't, its stagnated - its been the same according to Google trends for the past four years

The real growth has come from Pay Day lenders as people turn away from the harder option of debt management and go for the easy quick fix of a loan. .

Front and centre in their mind is the thougth "I need money", Let’s get a loan, I have bad credit, I know I get a Wonga Loan.- because Wonga was all over the TV when I was watching Coronation Street. 

Debt and the perception of debt, and the way people feel about debt is a very negative and stressful experience, so they are not as liable to search for information it, as they should

People don’t talk about it, they don’t tweet about it, and they don’t like it on Facebook or share it, they bury their heads in the proverbial sand. 

The solution has to be in their perception and a change in their consciousness, and the solution has to be put in front of them.

Few people even know about the idea of debt management as it is not a product they are used to, it not one people talk about - they need to be educated first.

There is a perception in most marketing managers minds that this all about internet advertising and that is the main way to get customers – in fact it’s the opposite now – peoples internet consumption has moved to specific areas of interest – “Watching videos of cats and sharing them on Facebook. They are not searching for Debt Management!

Most people only visit a set number of website – like shopping or reading magazines was a few years ago.

What is the answer? Education though traditional advertising, TV, Radio, Press and wait for it Direct Mail.