Home / Humour / Who am I?

Who am I?

I’m sitting in the house.

It’s snowing.

Look.

Snow1

This is big news.

We don't get snow in Britain anymore.

Global warming saw to that.

So when it's snowing, it's major news headlines.

Non-stop BBC reports saying: "it's snowing".

And so it's snowing, and Britain has stopped.

Literally.

Everything has closed down.

We couldn't even get our newspaper delivered!

What is the world coming to?

So I'm stuck inside and I’m wondering: "Who am I?"

It’s the New Year.

Christmas is over.

And you tend to ask those big existential questions at this time of year like:

  • What’s the meaning of life?
  • Why am I here?
  • Who am I?

etc.

Or I do at least.

Maybe it's because Christmas is over, or maybe it's because I'm stuck here.

In the snow.

Here’s our drive.

Snow2

It’s as far as we can get today.

So I’m sitting wondering what life is all about and who am I?

A good thought for a New Year and for a blog, but what's it go to do with banking?

Well, if I don’t know who I am then how do they know who I am?

I mean they don’t, not in an ego and id sort of way anyways, but they don’t even know who I am as a customer.

That’s why we ring up and have to give so many account details.

Name, account number, PIN, card number, security code.

It’s even worse as a corporate user.

Name, VAT number, company registration, BIC, IBAN and more.

And nothing has standardised any of this yet, even though we’ve been trying for years and even decades.

Just look at IBAN.

Here are a few examples:

  • ATkk BBBB BCCC CCCC CCCC (Austria)
  • BEkk BBBC CCCC CCKK (Belgium)
  • BGkk BBBB SSSS DDDD DDDD DD (Bulgaria)
  • CHkk BBBB BCCC CCCC CCCC C (Switzerland)
  • CYkk BBBS SSSS CCCC CCCC CCCC CCCC (Cyprus)
  • CZkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CCCC (Czech Republic)
  • DEkk BBBB BBBB CCCC CCCC CC (Germany)
  • DKkk BBBB CCCC CCCC CC (Denmark)
  • EEkk BBSS CCCC CCCC CCCk (Estonia)
  • ESkk BBBB SSSS kkCC CCCC CCCC (Spain)
  • FIkk BBBB BBCC CCCC Ck (Finland)
  • FRkk BBBB BSSS SSCC CCCC CCCC Ckk (France)
  • GBkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC (UK)
  • GRkk BBB BBBB CCCC CCCC CCCC CCCC (Greece)
  • HRkk BBBB BBBC CCCC CCCC C (Croatia)
  • HUkk BBBB BBBC CCCC CCCC CCCC CCCC (Hungary)
  • IEkk BBBB BBBB BBCC CCCC CC (Ireland)
  • ISkk BBBB SSCC CCCC XXXX XXXX XX (Iceland)
  • ITkk kBBB BBSS SSSC CCCC CCCC CCC (Italy)
  • LIkk BBBB BCCC CCCC CCCC C (Liechtenstein)
  • LTkk BBBB BCCC CCCC CCCC (Lithuania)
  • LUkk BBBC CCCC CCCC CCCC (Luxembourg)
  • LVkk BBBB CCCC CCCC CCCC C (Latvia)
  • MKkk BBBC CCCC CCCC Ckk (Macedonia)
  • MTkk BBBB SSSS SCCC CCCC CCCC CCCC CCC (Malta)
  • NLkk BBBB CCCC CCCC CC (Netherlands)
  • NOkk BBBB CCCC CCk (Norway)
  • PLkk BBBB BBBk CCCC CCCC CCCC CCCC (Poland)
  • PTkk BBBB BBBB CCCC CCCC CCCK k (Portugal)
  • ROkk BBBB CCCC CCCC CCCC CCCC (Romania)
  • RSkk BBBC CCCC CCCC CCCC kk (Serbia)
  • SEkk BBBB CCCC CCCC CCCC CCCC (Swenden)
  • SIkk BBBB BCCC CCCC Ckk (Slovenia)
  • SKkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CCCC (Slovakia)

B = SWIFT BIC/Bank Code; C = Account Number; D = an Alphanumeric Account Type; kk = a Checking Code; S = Branch Sort Code; X = Accountholder’s National Identification Number

Warramess!

And that’s meant to be standardised.

Sure it’s getting there, but whilst we have IBAN and BIC codes that combine with account numbers and other codes with variability from 15 to 31 digits, with huge variations in structures and formats in between, then banks will never know who I am.

So, ignoring my ego and id, who am I?

I’m Chris Skinner.
I’m C M Skinner.
I’m Christopher M Skinner.
I’m birth date DD-MM-YYYY.
I’m House Number/Post Code/Country.
I’m landline number XXX XXXX XXXX.
I’m mobile number XXX XXXX XXXX.
I’m National Insurance Number XXnnnnnnX.
I’m Driving Licence Number XXXXXnnnnnnnXXnXX.
I’m Passport Number XXXXXXXXX.
I’m Frequent Flyer Number XXXXXXXX.
I’m Bank Account GBkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC …

… except that I have many accounts and so I’m actually Bank Accounts:

GBkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC (1)
GBkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC (2)
GBkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC (3)
GBkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC (4) …

… no wonder I have no idea who I am.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

Check Also

Rwanda: Africa’s first cashless economy?

Another presentation that was enlightening was delivered by Jean Claude Gaga, CEO of RSwitch Ltd, …

  • Karen Hoffman

    You are the Egg Man.
    You are the Walrus.
    Coo-coo-catchoo.
    Enjoy the winter wonderland and don’t get too philosophical.

  • Chris Skinner

    Hey Karen
    I think … therefore, I am.
    Chris

  • Claus Wild

    Hi Chris,
    Your drive looks verry pretty. I think you have to shovel snow 😉
    Best wishes
    Claus

  • Chris Skinner

    Hey Claus
    Always shovelling something !!
    Chris

  • Christina

    Hi Chris,
    Nice blog! Was looking for IBAN references and SEPA stuff etc. Found you. Great! Like it. Adding it. And congrats with the snow, we like it Denmark too. They said that we wouldn’t get much of it anymore. Seems it’s not true what ‘they’ say.
    Greets from Copenhagen,
    Christina

  • Dane from Macedonian

    You are author of a nice blog…
    Best wishes for the New Year!!!
    P.S. Just to warn you that if you live in Macedonia and the snow in front of your house is not cleared you will be penalised about 200 EUR. 😉

  • Chris Skinner.com

    @Christina
    I ban IBAN
    @Dane
    I would say we would never do that, except we get fined if we put the wrong sort of rubbish in our recycling bins so …