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Same old banking and bananas – FinTech Futures

Same old banking and bananas – FinTech Futures

Musings from snowy Oslo

Today work takes me to Oslo so much.

You may be delighted to listen to, this Greek is dealing with the chilly higher than anticipated (the cinnamon buns can take your thoughts off most issues, belief me) and I now have my routes (you realize, airport to the workplace with my eyes closed and whatnot) and familiarity is setting in. And familiarity is an excellent factor. Not the sort that breeds contempt. That’s, actually, no use to me by any means. However the sort that permits your mind to idle, the habit-forming sort, the sort that doesn’t set off your “struggle, flight or get terribly misplaced” instincts as a result of it alerts dependable patterns.

What does it matter if there’s a quicker strategy to the workplace?

Isn’t it blissful that your ft carry you there whereas your mind is in any other case engaged? It could possibly be drafting a difficult enterprise e mail, messaging the companion you left nonetheless sleeping at residence or making an attempt to think about an unique birthday current on your troublesome youthful sibling. Does it matter?

Familiarity signifies that the additional brain-time is yours.

However the upside of not questioning the acquainted, stays together with your financial institution.

You realize the place I’m going with this.

Likelihood is your cellular banking interface is a shrunken-down model of the online model which is an on-the-glass model of paper statements and guide processes which in flip mirror the sequence through which ledgers have been up to date and long-form calculations carried out earlier than computer systems have been invented.

The space between the counting home and banking apps is shorter and fewer artistic than you assume. However you don’t query it.

The trope is acquainted. You recognize your approach round your financial institution’s foibles.

You understand you possibly can’t arrange a overseas payee on the app however you possibly can on the web site. You don’t know why, however regardless of, you realize what to do and also you waste no time when it will get to doing it. You’ve got a life to reside and typically figuring out the best way is extra essential than the best way making sense.



For the financial institution.

Skis within the workplace. In fact skis.

So again to Oslo, and, as I’m strolling to a gathering, I see three individuals, not even collectively, crossing the workplace cafeteria carrying skis.

Like. That’s not meant to be there.


Within the workplace.

Prefer it’s regular.

As a result of it’s.

As a result of it’s Oslo they usually can get the tube to a ski slope. They’re in all probability snowboarding residence for all I do know. Isn’t that what occurs in chilly climates? (I do not know). What I do know is that skis within the workplace might be regular in Norway. They’re simply not regular to me. The issue is, the banking model of this dialog is that the likes of me design what is out there to people in Norway.

And no one appears to recollect it’s okay to query it.

Overlook the skis for a minute.

Take into consideration your financial institution.

Have you ever ever questioned why you possibly can’t arrange a brand new overseas payee on the app?

Why you possibly can’t change your handle or why you possibly can’t question a transaction?

Why you pay for SME banking however not retail banking though it seems the identical?

Why your banking service doesn’t know you higher?

Why your SME checking account doesn’t organise info round your stability sheet? Why your present account isn’t designed that will help you management your cash higher?

The reply is skis.

You reside close to the mountain in a snowy place. You possibly can completely ski after work.

However the one that acquired to determine what your banking service seems like doesn’t stay there and doesn’t like sports activities. Robust luck.

Solely tons of of tens of millions of customers don’t even know they’re allowed skis within the workplace. Or regardless of the equal is.


Whereas I used to be busy working by means of the implications of skis within the workplace, for fintech – I stay, a lot enjoyable – and considering the deliciousness of sudden visible cues that make you go “say what” after which when you digest what you’re looking at you go “nicely in fact. OF COURSE”. Skis within the workplace. In fact skis within the workplace.

That’s good UX, that’s.

Not skis within the workplace.

However that factor you by no means had earlier than and now it’s obtainable you’re questioning the way you ever lived with out it.

You didn’t anticipate it as a result of no one had put it there earlier than however now you’ve seen it, in fact, how on earth had you not considered it earlier than?

And the other of that?



Similar day, shortly after the ski incident, I noticed a person operating down a really snowy practice platform (I’m Greek, “very snowy” is a metric the place I come from) holding a banana. In contrast to skis, bananas are ubiquitous and I’m completely au fait with seeing them across the workplace. However I shouldn’t be. A banana in Oslo is as distant from its pure habitat as something might be and the truth that it seems to be extra regular than skis to me says extra about my conditioning than it does concerning the usefulness or relevance of what we’re used to seeing and subsequently anticipate to see.

That’s completely one thing that shouldn’t be there. And but. It’s.

See the place I’m going with this?

We’re conditioned to anticipate some barely esoteric issues (learn revolving credit score as an alternative of banana) however have been by no means advised that benefiting from what is obtainable is each a superb concept and a good expectation (exchange “the factor you truly have to do” – pay an bill after you bought paid by your clients – for “the best way your financial institution does issues” – settle transactions at shut of play and replace balances accordingly).

Familiarity doesn’t breed contempt. It allows it.

So you’re used to seeing bananas and never skis across the workplace though bananas aren’t endemic the place you’re employed and truly a ski slope might, conceivably, be reached inside a brief drive from the workplace (work with me right here). The truth that the human thoughts finds it really easy to simply accept the weird, in the event you see it typically sufficient, and never miss the apparent whether it is by no means provided, is why banking has been so stale, self-referential and obtuse for therefore lengthy.

Since you received used to it and didn’t happen to you it might be totally different.

The banana in ice chilly climate turned acquainted.

The skis within the workplace sudden.

And your complete interplay with the banking ecosystem – retail, enterprise and institutional – about behavior fairly than want. About what’s acquainted slightly than what’s both attainable or, shock horror, truly what you want and need.

Generations of doing issues a sure method have created a pliable consumer base that is aware of no higher, expects no higher and subsequently calls for no higher. Plus familiarity is reassuring, in the meantime the suppliers of providers rely on this familiarity to deal with us as cherished lemmings. Who will know no higher and ask for no higher.

And we don’t.

We’re used to not being wooed by our financial institution. We anticipate to be anticipated to do what is predicted. The financial institution handled like some Kafkaesque purveyor of obscure authority we want we might however can’t stay with out.

We settle for what tends to be there and overlook to ask for what should be there.

As a result of as clients we’re used to not being made arbiters of what must be offered.

We simply eat the identical banking service the identical approach we had when paper and an abacus represented the peak of tech.

The place are we going incorrect?

Banks inform us they’re all about consumer centric design today.

They’ve people who go to IDEO seminars and put on denims to work. They spend billions on innovation and their clients at greatest haven’t observed. At worst, we try to determine easy methods to use pointless new options whereas by no means questioning why the factor we really need isn’t on any product backlog.

Good UX is sort of a joke. If you must clarify it, it ain’t that good.

So, “massive financial institution that also doesn’t get it and little financial institution that thinks you will get away with it”, go discover your UX group. And apologise.

For hiring them to torture them. For less than listening in the event that they speak to you about bananas, by no means skis.

For letting their staff report into somebody who has been wanting the opposite approach half the time. Hearth that man. After which ship the UX workforce on vacation. Not simply as a comfort prize. Although that too. However as a result of it is advisable to maintain your mind sharp and your senses eager to not get sucked into the acquainted. You’ll want to hold taking a look at and for the sudden in order that, once you come to work, you will discover the underserved and the painfully apparent and but unseen.
The banking equal of skis within the workplace in Oslo.


I don’t understand how these guys do it.

I do know that once they do it, it delights. As a result of it latches onto the job you want achieved, as a buyer, and never the factor the financial institution does or the factor your ancestor twice eliminated thought was ok.

It’s modern-day magic and I’ll take it as such.

And when you’ve got these wizards within the constructing and don’t take heed to them, you will have however a brief window earlier than they stroll out.

As a result of even individuals like me have began to note. Individuals like me. Creatures of behavior missing in creativity however endowed with a eager appreciation of the scent of risk. So when individuals like me begin to discover, then the tide has turned. And in case you are nonetheless not listening to your UXers they may stroll. Now that a few of us are lastly listening.

We now know we’ve to search for the skis or discover individuals who know the best way to work out what the equal is, that factor that’s solely apparent when accomplished proper. And we’ve lastly discovered that we should keep in mind to recollect bananas weren’t even meant to be right here. And neither have been we, as bankers.

Cashing in on familiarity was a great lark whereas it lasted.

However it’s over.

And about time too.

By Leda Glyptis

Leda Glpytis

Leda Glyptis is FinTech Futures’ resident thought provocateur – she leads, writes on, lives and breathes transformation and digital disruption as chief of employees at 11:FS and CEO of 11:FS Foundry.

She is a recovering banker, lapsed educational and long-term resident of the banking ecosystem.

All opinions are her personal. You possibly can’t have them – however you’re welcome to debate and remark!

Comply with Leda on Twitter @LedaGlyptis and LinkedIn.

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