October 1985. As student of informatics in Eindhoven I walk into the ABN Bank to withdraw cash from my account, with my card in hand and passport in my bag. "I'd like to withdraw 250 Guilder", I ask kindly. The gentleman behind the counter grabs my card and without remark walks to the back to get the phone. He calls to the office in Weert, where I opened my account. He looks back to me a couple times and returns a few minutes later. It is allow, this time. The trust of the bank in me as their customer isn't very high. And it sure doesn't make me any happier.

Luckily, digitization makes these types of situation obsolete these days; I can withdraw cash wherever I want, am able do contactless payments and the bank watches over my transactions in the background to make sure there there are no criminal misusing my data.

But am I really happy with my bank? I don't know, I think improvements could be made. I have a couple of suggestions, free of charge. 

My bank is becoming its own competitor

Competition in the financial sector is drastically changing. The Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) has gone into effect in all of Europe. The PSD2 should give fintech parties a higher chance, stimulate innovation, contribute to a single European market and help protect consumers. It does this by introducing two new roles in the field: the Account Information Service Provider and the Payment Initiation Service Provider. The importance of these roles? It means that as a consumer, I get to choose the service provider that gets access to my financial data (the Account Information Service Provider) and choose who initiates transactions on my behalf (the Payment Initiation Service Provider). This could be Google or KPN, but also a bank. 


My bank in particular already has a lot of my information, more than just my transactions, and will be allowed to combine it into a nice dashboard with all my other bankaccounts. By opening up this data for other banks, combined with nice new services, it makes sense to choose my own bank between all these competitors. Potentially my own bank could even play a role as dashboard for my personal data, as my personal data manager.

My bank has its affairs in order


Data breaches hit the news on regular basis. Not long ago, this was true for banks as well. And if it wasn't a leaks, it would be the overzealous use of customer data. In 2014 ING got a lot of flak for this, and in may 2018 ABN AMRO annouced plans to advertise on your personal bank page based on your data. In the near future, that won't be the case. Developments like PSD2 and the GDPR pose strict requirements on service providers. With high fees, up to 4% of the yearly profits of the organisation! 

Not anyone can do that. How do you make sure you always have insight into your data? That there is enough security? That you have risk-based estimates of transactions in order? For new entrants this is a seemingly impossible task. But not for my bank. My bank has decades of experience in this field. Potentially a bit conservative, but a valuable asset now. My bank has its affairs in order, that I can count on. 

My bank is a technological pioneer

Banking is possible wherever and whenever I want. On my phone, tablet, laptop, in my professional software package, I have access to my financials everywhere. Continuous access to my dashboard. Not from one account, but all of them, my spending, collected spending of the family. Integration with mobile and biometrics make seperate tokens obsolete. The safest technology fits in your pocket. 

Not every bank is ready for this. Bunq shows how a bank can fit in a phone, with handrecognition, making simple accounts for specific purposes and opening an account in 15 minutes. At Rabobank you don't have to go to the bank anymore once you turn 18, you make yourself known through the app. ING is also moving ahead in terms of mobile, with payrequests for example. And Tikkie from ABN AMRO lets you share bills via WhatsApp. My bank will innovate, the coming years. My bank is pioneering by combining security and technology. In a way that fits me and is mobile. Things that make me happy.


Who wants to be my bank?

Reasons enough to be completely happy with my bank. But who will be my bank? Bunq has a spot in my wallet, based on its services, but it doesn't cover all my needs. The promises of Knab were great, but the ambitions minimal. Who will be my trusted service provider, that helps me in my financial endeavours? Which bank wants to earn that spot with me? 

Or will someone else step in after all? Not a bank, but a different service provider, that truly understands their customer? Who would you as consumer want in that spot? Think about who you would want and you know who will act as competitor to your bank. Who would you trust in that role? Candidates enough, but also opportunities to outrun the competition.