Last month I came across an article talking about Microsoft hitting banks across the world with a huge support bill if they missed a deadline to upgrade their ATM software from a 2007 version.
When I first read that, I had to double check the date. March 2014. Yes, it’s 2014, and that’s not the only technology the banks are behind on.
I love technology. Call it a Gen Y thing if you must, but the idea of a tool making my life easier and more productive is bliss.
Many banks think that by providing and promoting apps that they are meeting this need for high and fast consumerism. Yes, they look pretty, and some of them have some great added features. I’m sure banks also spent a pretty penny to create these. However the idea of these apps are of course to drive consumers to buy their product. The problem with this is everything that is actually required to deliver the product.
Having a sexy app only to follow through with slow, painful processing is just cruel. The back ends of banks’ systems have had no upgrades for years, in some cases decades. I actually know of at least one bank that still operates on an MS DOS system! This was first launched in 1981 and development ceased in 2000.
Now I get that it costs a lot of money for large companies to change an entire operating system, and for the most part cost isn’t the only issue. It’s also the fear that something will go wrong, it’s the re-training and all the other issues that come with it. Some would call upgrading evolution, but I guess some banks are going for the head-in-the-sand approach, and they probably also think the internet is ‘just a phase’.
Let’s not get into an argument about banks’ costings and priorities, though. Instead, let’s focus on how small changes (preferably low-cost or free) can be easily implemented to make a huge difference.
Something like… the fax!
Oh please, please will those few remaining banks (one in the big four) get on email!
I stopped using a fax machine as soon as the majority of banks allowed emailing of supporting docs for several reasons:
1. The time it takes to send an application ranging from 40 to 150-plus pages via fax
2. The high possibility that the information (particularly ID) cannot be read due to the poor quality of fax
3. The painful reality that ‘something wasn’t received’ or that ‘there is a vital page missing’ or worse ‘we haven’t received your supporting documents’ – even though you have a confirmation receipt
Yes, please maintain some kind of fax capability, but please put a fax server in place so at least your outgoing communications can be converted to email.
Not only will this improve your systems and ours as brokers, but think of all the reduced costs and paper savings!
Tish Naughton, founding manager, Black Sheep Finance
Tish Naughton is the founding manager of Black Sheep Finance, an innovative mortgage broking and financial services company that specialises in offering clients a holistic approach to their finances.
Above and beyond mortgages, Black Sheep helps clients with debt reduction, budgeting, investment cash flow management and their financial planning needs.
Frustrated by the restrictions of the seemingly confusing world of finance, Tish helps her clients break through the jargon to achieve their financial goals.
Tish has been investing since the age of 19, and has undertaken projects involving property renovations through to buying and building businesses.
She holds a Certificate 4 and Diploma in Financial Services (Finance/Mortgage Broking), Diploma in Management and is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA).
Tish is well-known for her entrepreneurial endeavours, being awarded in 2013 as one of Anthill’s Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs in Australia and ranked #31 by Shoestring in its Top 50 Australian Female Entrepreneurs Under 40.
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