Over the years, there have been many weird and wacky ideas for banking. There was the G&L Bank in the USA in 2000, targeting the LBGTQ+ community. It was a viable, niche, boutique bank, but twenty years ahead of its time. The was a David Bowie bank, surprisingly called Bowie Bank. Again, it did not achieve Fame. For all the bank ideas launched, many crash and burn.
I remember a few yeas ago that HSBC trialled the idea of texting customers if they walked near branches to say come on in. The trail failed as customers thought it was way too creepy.
Then there was that wonderful idea in the lending community of China to ask customers to give the lender a nude photo, with the threat of sharing it online if they defaulted.
The reason for mentioning these is that two recent headlines struck me. Firstly, setting a bank branch in a graveyard; secondly, using finance apps as social apps.
Let’s start with #1, Barclays Bank have a mobile banking service as all their physical branches are now shut, but parking the mobile banking service by the cemetery seems a bit weird.
But, on a lighter note, you can use the bank to avoid your secret lover being discovered.
In an intriguing development on the Revolut app, users have found it’s a great way of talking to their lovers, behind their partners’ backs, by texting through the app.
Having gone through this myself, a partner can quite easily start picking up on your heavy messaging on Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp, but they wouldn’t check up on you on your banking app, would they?
Well, they might now if they’re reading this because, last November, Revolut introduced a messaging service. It was designed to allow customers to chat and request funds from other customers but, in the usual example of unexpected consequences, it’s ended up being a great and secure way of talking to people in a fully encrypted way.
The Times of Malta quotes lead clinician at Sex Clinic Malta Matthew Bartolo, stating that:
“People do not think that their partner would be speaking to someone on an app used for banking … if a person wants to hide something, they will find all ways to do so. I have had previous clients who would download apps in different languages or even change the name of the person they are having an affair with on their phone so that their partner would not suspect anything.”
Bartolo said it is more difficult today to cheat as there is a “digital record” of wherever the person has been or what they have been doing.
“In the past, if you travel to meet someone behind your partners back, there was no Google locations or bank transfers of what you spent,” he said. “Today it is much easier to communicate and keep in touch with people. If someone wanted to speak to their ex, they do not have to meet them for a coffee but simply send them a message.”
Anyway, I have to stop blogging now as I have to make an urgent transaction on Revolut. Talk to you later …
* The Financial Times reports that a new study by Boston Consulting Group shows an extraordinary 73% of Europe’s banks are trading below their book value. The vast majority of them have been doing so for more than a decade and no other business would survive at such levels.
** 50 ways to leave your lover, by Paul Simon could now have:
Just make a pay, Kay,
Get on the app, Zak,
Send a text, Rex,
And set yourself free ...
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.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...