Siwicki

Three Ways Every Bank Can Get Better

August 07, 2016

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Have you ever met anyone who loves their bank? Have you ever had a conversation with someone who said, “Hey, you got to try my bank.” Banking is one of those things we just have to deal with. I know I made accounts in the same places that my parents had their accounts so many years ago.

Lately, there have been a number of startups that have helped push some of the lackluster banking forward. There have been startup checking and savings accounts that have popped up and have really helped with different feature sets and usability issues that have plagued some services.

My financial system involves multiple accounts with different banks. Over the years, I have been able to experience a number of different systems and processes in managing money.

I want to propose some new features and additions to the experience that I think can make our banking lives easier. I will skip over things like fees and random charges because I want to focus in on things that can work for most types of accounts and setups.

Smart Debits

We all have those certain charges that come out of our account every month and our paychecks that come in at certain times as well. I would love to see a smart mode that would allow me to see the upcoming debits and credits before they occur. It could be a custom mode or even just a small box in a sidebar of the website. I think it would be nice to see what is coming and prepare for certain weeks and months with some upcoming bills.

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Better Notifications

Google Wallet had this amazing feature that sent you an email every time you used their debit card. This was nice for a few reasons. You were able to see all purchases and able to easily spot anything suspicious. Plus, it would certainly curtail some weird spending because who wants to get an email explaining they spent $50 on in-app purchases.

It would be nice if the notification of these transactions could be more robust, combining this with the predictive debit technology. How cool would it be to get a warning, “If you have no credits in this account in a week, you will overdraft.”

Savings/Goals/Budgeting

Simple is a bank that is part of the new wave of banking. They have a feature that is unreal called Goals. This is just like an enhanced savings account that allows you set dates and amounts for each goal to save for. They will transfer X amount into the goal from your main checking to make sure you get the desired amount. It has changed how I approach my banking and totally helps me save for long term purchases.

I would love to be able to take this concept and just add a few features, like the ability to stash money away for monthly bills. Certain things like a student loan or a car payment are debited monthly, but the goal concept would be amazing to have for these items. Imagine setting that you need 300 dollars on the 27th of each month for a car payment. It would take a certain amount per day out of your checking and put it into this goal, which would empty out the amount on the 27th and restart.

Automation

My goal is to try to streamline and automate all of my finances. I don’t want to ever think about it. I want to put a system in place and just check in every so often to make sure things are working.

There are some banks that are doing some interesting things like Simple, Chime, and, if you are eligible to use the product, USAA is one of the best banks in terms of its features. The one thing that I must say about these banks is that they have some many features that it is almost hard to use all of them.


John SiwickiWritten by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter