Written by Ben Hammond on Friday 20 February 2015
Like many (or surely most?) others, I like making sure my hard-earned cash is working as hard as it can to help me afford those little extras: loft conversion, romantic weekend away, fillet steak instead of the rump – you know the sorts of things.
So imagine my frustration when week after week, the savings rates I see advertised are permanently so low, even when it comes to saving into an ISA (1.5% with the Post Office at the last check). Ah, but there’s an alternative…
Banking providers are fighting for our business harder than ever before. However merely keeping up with the technological Joneses is not enough these days: generous incentives to invest in everyday current accounts are popping up all over the place. A few Googles brings up some very interesting results:
(Source: Provider websites; correct as of 20/02/2015)
So all I have to do is open an account and put some cash in to earn a decent rate of interest, even after tax? Right, I thought, this sounds like a good idea; I’ll take a look.
TSB was my first port of call, mainly as I’ve been a TSB, Lloyds TSB and now back to Lloyds / TSB customer for many years. All I had to do was go online, using my tablet device, obviously and open an account, before transferring in some savings and setting up a standing order to transfer £500 in each month (one of the criteria for earning the 5%). Once the application was complete, I didn’t even need to wait for my debit card or other information to arrive in the post (which it did a few days later) as my account details were provided by email within 5 minutes of me finishing the sign-up. A quick download of TSB’s banking app onto my Android device later and I was immediately able to start managing my account with ease.
Very positive experience – job done.
The most important thing for me was the accessibility of the application process, which I could have easily completed from anywhere with a mobile signal. Added to this, there’s the systems, capabilities and process flow that enables everything to hang together, something that will not have been thought of overnight and will have taken a significant amount of effort to design, build, test and implement. The time and cost of designing such a slick and accessible system should be seen as well worth the investment as I, the customer, was left feeling happy and contented - something many financial institutions don’t always think of as the ultimate goal.
Altus has recently completed a piece of research on how financial services firms are going about implementing their mobile propositions; a summary of our findings can be found in this infographic
Now how many juicy steaks, I mean romantic weekends’ away, can I get for £100 a year?