Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

One account to rule them all?

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

I was having a chat with some friends about the good days where everything was domestic and local. We had passbooks, cheques, cash and branches. Ah, those were the days. Life was simple, money was all in one place and easy to manage.

Then the ATM came about and so we moved to cards and card payments, and that was ok. Then we moved to call centres and online banking and mobile apps and all those things we grew up with – cheques, cash and branches – became irrelevant.

Then we also moved from local and domestic to international and cross-border to global and everyone, and all the things we grew up with (or I grew up with) became irrelevant.

What is interesting in this process is that we now have a myriad of options to make a payment, get credit or invest, and keeping track of those options has become very difficult, as blogged the other day.

That blog said moving money around has never been easier, but is a headache for governments. This time I’m thinking that moving money around has never been easier, but is a headache for the customer too.

The reason is that we now have too many choices and life is no simple because money is in too many places.

I don’t know about you, but my money sits in lots of places from deposit accounts to savings accounts to investment accounts to crypto accounts to pension pots and more. Each and every one of them has passwords and often 2FA (two-factor authentication) or maybe more – most of which are forgotten unless used often – and each and every one of them has become a pain in the ass to manage.

In fact, it amazes me the complexity of our financial system today when, back in the 1960s when the ATM was introduced, the inventor felt that people would not even remember a PIN (Ed: actually, it was his wife).

This is why open banking and aggregation services have a strong position. For example if, over a few years, you have ended up with ten or twenty or more providers of a financial service, how can you see it all in one place and access with one direction?

Right now, I don’t see the provider of such a service – if this is wrong, please advise.

Right now, it just seems that we are offering more and more choices, services, apps, abilities for users to diversify their financial flows and lose track of them.

In fact, it would not surprise me if, in a decade, millions of people have lost billions of dollars in investments they just forgot were there. We have already seen this in the pensions industry, where people forget where they placed their money.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) over 2.8 million pension pots were considered lost between 2018 and 2022, an increase of 75%. The value of lost pension pots in the UK has risen by 37%, to reach a total of £26.6 billion, over the last four years. That’s a sizeable chunk of money.

Now add to this that a customer might have balances with a bank, savings with another bank, investments with an investment provider and, most importantly, funds on payment services like PayPal and others, and you might get the idea.

We live in a diversified and fragmented world of money. Someone needs to consolidate it all. The question is: who?

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...

Intelligent Money: Our Future Is Where We Do Not Think About Money, As Our Money Thinks For Us

What is the future?

Learn more

Learn more about Chris

About Chris Skinner

The Past, Present And Future Of Banking, Finance And Technology

Fintech expert Chris Skinner: countries need digital transformation to remain competitive

Join me on Linkedin

Follow Me on X!

Hire Chris Skinner for dinners, workshops and more

Learn directly from from one of the most influential people in technology, gain insights from the world's most innovative companies, and build a global network.

Chris’s latest book

Order now

Chris Skinner’s ‘Digital For Good’ Book Launch Event – CFTE

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech 2023

Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

Thinkers360 Thought Leader

Contact Me

Global Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

Global 100 - 2024 Winner

Chris Skinner - Financial Markets Advisor of the Year - The Finanser - UK 2023

Best Financial Markets Advisor of the Year 2023

30 Best Regtech Blogs and Websites 2023

Kids creating the future bank | TEDxAthens

Captain Cake and the Candy Crew

Captain Cake Winner of a Golden Mom’s Choice Award


Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser