When I opened my first bank account over 2 decades back, I had to be introduced into the bank by a good Samaritan. It took me over 10 days to get the procedural work done and have the passbook and cheque book posted to me.
My experience with a leading UK bank when I first opened a bank account in UK 5 years back was not much different. While they had digitised the process of capturing KYC via a tablet in the branch I still had to wait for over 2 weeks to have my debit card sent by Royal Mail to me. In the same year, there was a smart challenger bank in the UK where my better half was able to open her account and start transacting within the hour with a personalised debit card. This bank has been able to substantially upset the apple cart of the large established banks.
With the advent of payment banks / banking payment solutions / fintech solutions in the last 5 years, you need not visit a bank’s branch anymore but just open an app and with it an account and start banking. The increasing expectations from millennials on better experiences is forcing banks across the globe to either transform or be pushed aside by the mushrooming set of neo banks like Revolut, Monzo, Bunq, N26 and others. Starting as just banking payment solutions, these companies have grown to start offering services not only to the Retail segment but also to businesses. In 2018, over 52% banks felt that fintechs and other outside players will become serious competitors to them (Source: BCG study published in the Financial Brand in 2018). I am sure current experience would have compelled more banks to feel the heat by now. Some of the smarter ones have also started aligning themselves with fintechs in the last 2 years.