This post was written by Sam Uden (@sam__uden) - the newest member of our FinTech team, and 'Digital Bank' aficionado.
I put my hand into my coat pocket, where I thought my wallet was, to discover that it was empty. After searching around I determined that it had fallen out my pocket during my commute, and that cancelling my cards straight away and not wasting time was the safest possible solution.
On this day, I embraced (and came to truly appreciate) one of the many thoughtful features of modern banking. Realising the disparity between 'Digital Banks' and 'Traditional Banks' along the way.
I opened the archaic app of my 'Traditional Bank' (which will remain nameless) and accepted that the only way to cancel my card was by calling them as there was no in-app functionality. In contrast, when opening my 'Digital Bank' (which will also remain nameless) I simply tapped around until I hit the button to 'freeze' my card.
After several hours I fortunately found my wallet. All I had to do was reactivate my cards and move on with my life, right? Well in the case of the ‘Digital Bank,’ yes – that’s exactly what I did. I unfroze it and moved on. But the ‘Traditional Bank?’ Well for that card I had to wait six working days and rely entirely on my ‘Digital Bank’ during the period.
For me, the experience highlighted the difference between the two. One bank offering innovation and the other obsolescence and antiquity. It made me realise just how much I believe in the ‘Digital Bank’ startups – like Starling Bank, Revolt and Monzo – and that I truly hope they stand the competition when other rival digital offerings start popping up from already well established banks.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is a good example. According to reports, RBS is spending tens of millions on a potential digital bank that will be run separately from its existing business.