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Big Revolution - Marginally better banking

Welcome to Thursday's newsletter. Today I've been thinking about the present and future of banking. M
August 1 · Issue #486 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s newsletter. Today I’ve been thinking about the present and future of banking. More on that below.
— Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Google has launched its Titan security keys in the UK, Canada, France, and Japan. The USB and Bluetooth devices make logging into online accounts more secure. They were previously only available in the US.
  • European fintech company Revolut has launched the ability to easily trade US stocks in tiny amounts. The service is similar to Robinhood in the US, but aimed at a European audience. Initially, only customers with a pricey Metal card will be able to take part, but it will roll out further later on.
The big thought
Credit: Oliur on Unsplash
Credit: Oliur on Unsplash
Marginally better banking
A few years after ‘bank account in an app,’ 'challenger banks’ first emerged, I’m finally ready to make one my main account.
I shifted my business account over to Monzo’s beta business account service last week and I’m 95% happy. They don’t accept international payments yet, making things slightly less convenient in that regard, but overall, it’s a much more modern approach to banking than I had before.
My old bank once asked me to fill in a form on a web page, then print it out and post it to them! And that was just to apply for the possibility of doing something they could have done in a minute over the phone if their systems allowed for common sense.
And given I now have my business account with Monzo, I’m tempted to move my main personal current account to them, too.
The new app-centric banks offer better convenience, faster service, and more rapid innovation. Features like being able to allocate savings pots within your main account is useful for budgeting, for example. But I still have a niggling feeling they could be rethinking banking more radically.
I remember about three years ago talking to someone in the tech startup world who thought these challenger banks weren’t different enough. He was right. They still present a list of recent transactions in the same way as a paper bank statement did; they’re not rethinking what a bank account should be from the ground up.
Maybe there’s nothing else a bank account can be, but I doubt it. Surely, they could be reimagined more radically?
That said, I’m quite a keen early adopter of technology, and even I have taken a few years of using Monzo casually before I felt ready to shift a main account over to it. Maybe a truly, radically different bank account would be just too scary for too many people.
One big read
Where Everyone's an Influencer Where Everyone's an Influencer
“Inside Instagram’s annual beach party, where Hollywood and social media collide.”
One big tweet
Click through for a thread about technology in big companies that is sadly unsurprising….
Joe Pettersson
I saw a tweet asking why sometimes when you unsubscribe from an email list it says it can ‘take a few days’. Buckle up, as I have a RIDICULOUS story about this happening in The Enterprise™️...
10:17 PM - 30 Jul 2019
That’s all for today...
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