We’ve heard a lot about technical failures by banks recently, and at the end of last month the chairman of Britain’s newest high street bank, Metro Bank, has hit out at the “horrendous” technology systems used by his rivals.
Vernon Hill co-founded Metro Bank in 2010 as a challenger to the established high street banks, and he believes that the IT systems used by those banks are failing to deliver the “Apple experience” that customers now demand.
While many of the older banks rely on legacy systems that date back as far as the 1960s, Metro Bank has the advantage of being able to deploy and build upon the latest digital technology as standard. For example, customers can deactivate their card on their mobile device if it’s lost or stolen, and the bank is working on technology that would recognise customers when they walk into a branch.
Following high-profile IT failures by financial institutions such as the RBS and the Bank of England, the technology used in the industry has come under scrutiny. Such failures often happen when updates are made to legacy systems, highlighting the need for people with knowledge of these systems and the right skillset to resolve problems when they occur.
Although Metro Bank is yet to really take the banking market by storm, it is expanding quickly. If the old established banks continue to let their customers down with technical failures, then more and more customers will just switch to alternatives. Financial institutions need to have resilient, reliable and up-to-date systems, as well as staff with the required skills, if they are to deliver the high quality experience and functionality that their customers expect.