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A mortgage in an app?

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The next day, the grandson came to visit his grandfather again, and immediately returned to the conversation of yesterday.

Grandson: Granddad, you know you were talking about how money and banking used to be. Well, I think it’s a lot better today.

Granddad: How so, lad?

Grandson: Well, a good example is that I can see my money, count my pennies and do it anytime, anywhere all day, every day. You could only count your pennies in the bank branch between 09:30 and 3:30.

Granddad: Maybe so, but at least I knew my balance. It was in my passbook.

Grandson: I know my balance, all the time. It’s there on my fast access screen. I not only know my balance, but I can keep track of everything I’ve done with my money. Not just what I spent, but where I spent it and with who.

Granddad: Well, I’d know that from my cheque book stubs and things.

Grandson: No granddad. Look.

The grandson opened his banking app.

Grandson: My bank not only shows me every transaction, when and with who, but it tells me how I’m spending against my budgeting goals. I’m slightly over on my entertainment and dining this week, but under overall on spending on clothes and fuel.

Granddad: That might be useful lad, but where’s your relationship. How could you get a mortgage from an app for example? You need to know your bank manager to do that.

Grandson: Maybe when you were young Granddad, but watch.

The grandson opened the mortgage application app option. A chatbot starts interacting.

Chatbot: Hello Mr. Skinner. Would you like to apply for a mortgage?

The grandson put ‘Yes’.

Chatbot: The maximum mortgage we could offer you today would be for up to £500,000 over thirty years.

Grandson: See granddad. It’s simple. All I need to do is say ‘yes’, and that mortgage is mine.

Granddad: Well, it’s not very friendly is it?

Grandson: It’s perfect for my lifestyle granddad. Rather than having to take a half a day out to visit the bank manager, all I need to do is interact with them remotely through their apps and, if I really want to talk to someone, I can.

Granddad: How would you do that then, son?

Grandson: Easy. I can call the bank most days all day, or I can go and visit a branch if I find it convenient.

Granddad: Lots of options maybe, but it’s not like it was in my day.

Grandson: What, having to see someone at a time that suits them and then getting a good grilling face-to-face that could be embarrassing and degrading?

Granddad: It wasn’t like that, son. Back then, the bank manager was a friend.

Grandson: That may have been true back in the day of Dad’s Army and Captain Mainwaring, but today’s bank is all about a focus on customer through the internet. It’s all about putting me in control, not them.

Granddad: You may think that, but it’s not very secure is it?

Grandson: What?

Granddad: Dealing with your money through a system. What happens if the system loses your money? It’s not that secure. Everything on the internet is getting hacked. That’s why I won’t use your stupid banking apps.

Grandson: Again, Granddad, I’d love to agree with you, but I can’t. My app keeps me informed all the time of any activity on my account, so I’d know if anything was happening that wasn’t me immediately. Equally, carrying around a lot of cash was really bad, as you could often get mugged. Today, I would never get mugged as the money is secure online and, if there was a hack, the bank would be liable.

Granddad: I still don’t like it. And you still can’t get your eggs and milk delivered like in the old days, can you?

Grandson: Actually, you can. It’s the home delivery option from Tesco.

With that, the grumpy old man walked away to do The Times crossword whilst his grandson decided to complete the mortgage application to escape his parent’s household.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, 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...

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