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UK challenger Secco vows to reboot banking

15 September 2015  |  12456 views  |  2 Team meeting with smart phone

Secco Bank has emerged as the latest UK challenger promising to reboot "broken" banking and usher in a new digital era in financial services, where data is the new money.

The early stage, pre-license challenger joins the likes of Atom, Starling and Mondo in taking a mobile-first approach to winning customers from the small collection of high street giants that dominate the British scene.

Secco is co-founded and led by Chris Gledhill, who spent nearly three years at Lloyds as an innovation technologist before quitting to embark on the new venture in July.

Explaining the rationale for Secco, the firm says that banks "have lost their way, they can often seem to be greedy, sales focused and profit driven organisations". What's more, it claims, banks have failed to keep up with customers living digital lives.

The startup is planning to use technology and data to change how banking is done. Not only is it hoping to make branches redundant, but banking apps too, with customers using messaging apps to access things such as balances.

Meanwhile, a statement says, in Secco world customers will send and receive payloads, not payments, where they exchange a "Facebook like and a tip for a busker in return for a digital copy of the song; a business card for the conference slides, or even simply pay for your market lunch and get a recipe."

A pair of spending boundaries will develop over time, based on habits and goals, while for more prosaic products like loans and savings accounts, Secco will simply act as an aggregator, using data to offer options from other providers.

Separately, another new challenger, called Tandem, is being prepped by Azimo co-founder Ricky Knox and former Capital One Bank director Matt Cooper. According to the Financial Times, Tandem has raised nearly £100 million for its mobile-first bank, which will offer current accounts, mortgages and other products.

Comments: (2)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 16 September, 2015, 12:11

The advantage of working in a bank for only 3 years is that you can conveniently ignore the fact that banks enabled customers to use SMS to find balances and much more 5-10-15 years ago and, in a spirit of "ignorance is bliss", claim that your bank, based on messaging to find balances, is innovative, disruptive and blah blah blah.

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Dheeraj Ahluwalia
Dheeraj Ahluwalia - NBO - London | 05 October, 2015, 06:00

Any new digital model has to be grounded in the basic fundamentals of how is the "cost of customer acquisition" and "cost to serve" more efficient than current banking models, whilst enhancing the overall customer experience. The other critical factor is-- what is your value proposition that creates stickiness and loyalty. These are critical for the sustainability of the new banking models.



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