Metro Bank, which has been blazing something of a retro trail with an emphasis on branch banking as a means to challenge UK incumbents, is now taking a leaf from the playbooks of app-only banking startups with the launch of an online instant account opening service.
Metro Bank began life in 2010 as the first high street bank to open in the UK in 150 years. An unashamed advocate of the old-fashioned values of high touch banking, Metro's customer-friendly store numbers are expected to reach 110 by 2020.
Craig Donaldson, CEO at Metro Bank says: “We promised to revolutionise UK banking and today we’re bringing our revolution nationwide, with the launch of our online current account opening platform. Now wherever customers are, they can experience the great service and convenience that everyone’s been talking about. The process is fast, simple and convenient and gets customers — wherever they are and whatever they’re doing — up and running in a matter of minutes."
The bank says the new account opening process takes less than 10 minutes, with verification and authentication of identity documents, including a selfie, taking place in real-time. Customers can use their account right away, with account details provided immediately at the end of a successful application and debit cards shipped by first class post. Alternatively, users can opt to pop in to their nearest store and have their card printed on-the-spot straight away.
“When it comes to physical versus digital, it’s not either or, customers should be able to benefit from the best of both worlds," says Donaldson. "Opening an account from the convenience of your own home, then being able to use the account straight away, with a card ready to be printed in your local store, is a great example of the seamless integration of bricks and clicks.”