There was a time when bank marketing departments offered well crafted products delivering genuine value for money, but that doesn't seem to be the case now. Advertising is dominated by savings accounts paying way below inflation, and cash incentives to switch
banks for no reason other than the cash itself. Whatever happened to the value proposition?
Meantime, innovative services go largely unmentioned, perhaps because marketing people lack the determination to make them work. Take Faster Payments for example.
The banks invested millions of pounds developing Faster Payments as the real time money transfer service consumers had been demanding for years. This went well beyond Government requirements because a few visionaries saw real value in going for a much bigger
So why aren't the banks advertising Faster Payments strongly and charging (say) 50p per payment for such a great service? They certainly need the revenue and, for once, consumers seem willing to pay.
Paradoxically, the answer is that there isn't a market facing Faster Payments scheme. Some banks have failed to implement in full causing a lack of consistency across the marketplace. So a customer of Barclays can send up to £10,000 per day, but a customer
of Santander can only send £300. Similarly, some banks credit funds within seconds of receipt and others take hours. In other words, there's a significant lack of consistency and consumers can't easily tell how their payment will behave.
There is, of course, an answer. Those banks which have implemented in full include HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and the RBS Group which together make up the greater part of the market. These banks could easily get together and declare a customer
facing scheme with consistent features and a recognised logo. Advertising would be easy to conceive and there's no doubt the service would not only be a customer favourite but also a money spinner.
Of course, those banks which have failed to implement in full would be faced with a dilemma. They could either finish the job and help to deliver the service properly or be excluded. That's how competition works to ensure survival of the fittest.
So come on Marketing Directors, let's stop pretending that 0.5% is a high interest savings rate. Whatever happened to Better, Faster, Cheaper? Faster Payments ticks those boxes and is already sitting on the shelf. All it needs is a common set of terms and
a red ribbon. Let's give consumers what they want for a change and start to earn some money!