I wanted to share this a week ago, unfortunately I have been stuck in the Tasmanian wilderness looking after my dad who just passed away. However, while some seem to like “Unbanky” there is a # tag being used often on twitter that I think describes the banks well and could be used in the reverse much better than “Unbankey” ever could. That is “#Banksters” Xinja are definitely not “Banksters” just thought I would share something I found that seems to strike a cord with many including myself.
Hi @Xinjarebel, sorry for your loss. We hope you and the family are doing ok. Thanks for thinking of us over this time, and sharing the #banksters intel. Just checked out on twitter now.
Sending you good vibes from Sydney!
@nanoxinja thank you. It’s Xinjas Vs Banksters and I think the Xinja’s of this world will win in the end.
Sorry to hear the news @Xinjarebel. Thoughts to you and your family.
I like the word banksters, quite a bit I think. There is definitely a “Xinjas Vs Banksters” [XvB] series of webisodes or something, somewhere.
Here’s a thought. Advertising… marketing…
Ordinary, normal, boring, frustrating situations that Xinja swoops in and saves the day. It can be a big save, or just a small save of convenience. It may be bank or money related, but it could be a broader implementation of the idea, such as a useful idea that saves time and so it’s a Xinja thing.
And the viewer is like… What? Who? A bank? That’s unheard of.
Here’s a thought. Advertising… Marketing… Catchphrase.
“It’s a Xinja thing”. (convenience, time, money, savings or broader).
For example, the colour - a school kid colouring in, in a cool ass radical, totally outside the lines sort of way and the teacher says “why are you colouring like that?” The kid says, “It’s a Xinja thing”. Cue “Xinja. Banking. Better” in small font on the bottom of the screen.
Another example. Busy, overworked, stressed parent lugging shopping bags to the car. Drops bag. Stranger comes in and helps pick it up, smiles and puts a block of their own chocolate into the bag - in a totally non creepy way. Might be too cliche, but the parent says, thanks and the helper responds with “It’s a Xinja thing” and walks off. “Xinja. Banking. Better” in small font on the bottom of the screen.
Very sorry to hear that Xinjarebel.
It does raise a great point though @nanoxinja ! I would have a think about what #'s you want to dominate, and if this feeds into how we can help you dominate a # globally.
Unbanky? Just don’t be like the other banks - be different, be cool, be uniquely Xinja! (i.e. not a dickhead!).
As for some unbanky comments/ideas or suggestions: I thought I would share with you a few features I have used/seen/heard or want from my next bank of choice:
Apple Pay/Google Pay, etc. (It’s 2019, this feature is a must)
Realtime payment tracking and notifications - and not just how much, where as well. It shouldn’t take days for me to figure out that $4 was from a random coffee cart I stopped at the other day. I want to tap my phone and get notified immediately that I just bought a coffee at Bob’s Coffee Cart in Brisbane (note: not sure if Bob actually exists but you get my drift)
Instant account/card locking (and unlocking) from my mobile or internet banking portal
No transaction or account keeping fees (ATMs, international purchases, etc.) - be creative with the ways you make your money; I don’t want me accessing or using my own money to be one of them.
Everyday Round Up (a feature offered by ING where every time you buy something it automatically rounds that purchase to the nearest $1 or $5 and puts it into a savings account to encourage savings - this is a fantastic concept and needs to be adopted - call it what you want - like “Xinja Pinch” (for safe keeping of course) … I don’t know, but the feature should be available)
High interest savings accounts - with bonus interest for good saving practices
I want a bank that wants to keep ALL of their customer’s business and make it as easy as possible to do so. E.g. I have personal loans - however, I can’t have these under one loan with one bank with one simple payment to take care of it. My bank only offers loans up certain amounts, so I have to have a separate car loan elsewhere - being able to combine them into one loan with a reasonable interest rate and fees would reduce my repayments and make life so much easier and less stressful and allow me to just live life!
I want a bank that discourages the use of credit cards (heck, don’t even offer them - they are dangerous) and encourages smarter spending habits and provides the technology to keep me and my finances on track (such as in app budgeting features or behind the scene algorithms which can determine when I am spending more money than I should be if I want to stick to my savings goals and alert me to the fact, etc.)
I want a bank where I can get help at any time, any where - whether that be by phone, email or instant messaging without getting the “our office hours are between X and X, please call back then”
I would like a bank to touch base once or twice a year to make sure I am travelling alright and suggest better products that would continue to benefit my financial position
Offer micro loans - short term (1-3 months), low value (max $3-5k), no interest (just a set fee)… e.g. offer a $3,000.00 over three months with a 5% fee resulting in a repayment within three months of $3,150.00 - no penalties for early repayment, no extra fees. Once repaid, the loan is closed and your customer gets a Xinja Star for meeting their contracted obligations (and possibly access to special offers or incentives - not rewarding them for taking the loan, but rather for actually repaying it ahead or on time).
I could waffle on…but these are a few starting points.
Hi @8rett - this is super helpful feedback on your needs for a bank, and I will pass onto our design and app team. Curious, which state are you based in? We’d love for you to attend a Xinja labs event. This is where we test features and our conceptual thinking - over Xinja beers! We’re planning these at the moment so look out for announcements on all our channels.
Thanks again for taking the time for the above!
Cheers for the prompt response, glad I could pass on some thoughts. I’m based in Queensland; Brisbane to be more precise.
I’m down with all these points.
You know what would be something really #unbanky …
If you had it so that all the sum total of all your savings with Xinja in checking, savings, down the back of the couch, wherever were added up and applied as an offset to all interest bearing products you had, starting with the highest rate and working their way down --> what a mathematical optimisation nightmare.
But wouldn’t it be cool if the bank was just trying to work out how to do the best maths for you possible @8rett
Also I’m with you, hate credit cards. In fact I was thinking about Xinja’s announcement about doing personal loans first instead of mortgages given market conditions and thinking, the unbanky thing to do would be to try to get people out of credit cards altogether via this product somehow.
I hate maths @weeksy_j - so if Xinja wanted to do the dirty work in that department I would be all for it!
Credit cards are pure evil (< credit card in emoji form), I will NEVER own another one. I think a bank that promotes smart banking and savvy financial decision making is key. Rewarding people doing the right thing is what I want to see from my bank, not encouraging me to go into debt to buy something I really don’t need.
Initially I think personal loans is a smarter start in the loan department, especially being a newcomer to the market - pick your products wisely. I agree that helping people stick their old credit cards up the old banks and put this kind of debt monster behind them is the way to go.
You attract more Xinjas with better banking options…
Since when are personal loans not going into debt?
There is nothing wrong with credit cards, only the way people see them and use them.
I don’t know of any financial model that does not have credit/debt as part of its foundation.
Credit cards if used properly, if seen as a tool rather than free money, are perfectly acceptable as a personal financial tool.
I personally have had the same credit card for the last 16 yrs and in all that time I have paid less that $1 in interest.
I have never run out of available credit, and it has saved me quite a few times when big bills etc have hit me at the same time.
If you see a credit card as free money, run it up to its limit, and try paying off the minimum amount each month. Then you are just playing into the hands of the banks and should not complain about your inability to manage yourself. While I have no love for the big 4 or any of their subsidiaries, they are there to make a profit, but you don’t need to make it easy for them.
There should be greater education around how to use credit including personal loans which cause people as much trouble as credit cards.
Especially if they are given to customers who can’t afford them, or those who may just happen to find themselves out of work the week after taking one out.
Xinja should not be restricting itself to a few products because some don’t know how to use them. This only squeezes the market and pushes customers into the hands of the big 4.
Xinja should be offering education on how to see credit in all its forms and making sure people are not over extending themselves.
Of course it is still up to the individual to actually read the information provided to them.
I made the mistake of seeing the first credit card I ever had as free money.
It destroyed me financially for about two years. I was 18 and stupid, but it taught me a lesson I will never forget.
I don’t use cash for anything, and my credit card is integral in making sure I can cope with any situation.
Some months/weeks I hardly spend anything because I don’t need too, other months/weeks I may have an electricity bill and car registration both hit me together, but I never have a problem and I never have a zero balance bank account like I did when I lived in a cash economy!
My personal accounting practices may not be main stream, but they are proven. For me and I will take a credit card over a personal loan any day of the week.
What I won’t do is let a bank, any bank, push me to spend more than I need to spend just because they provide me with credit in any form.
Hi @Xinjarebel Graham - points well made! Brett King (one of our board advisors who is founder of the US neobank Moven) made the point that ‘we were the first bank to focus on reducing spending and debt’. The point is not that you should never pay an interest or have any debt but how do you reach an optimum position - how do I minimise the interest I’m paying and maximise the interest I’m earning? How do I understand where I’m overspending so I can be mindful and reduce that? This is where banks can and should help.
Key here is authenticity.
Other financial institutions have tried similar marketing/branding such as AAMI’s (Suncorp) “Not very insurancey” campaign. Was a little incongruent with customers actual experience dealing with a traditional insurance company.
So, if the branding is “unbanky” i feel the business truly needs to look and feel totally different to build the brand and momentum.
I think you start by understanding the market your working in, and the products your using within that market.
Your quite correct, interest is not a bad thing, it keeps the system ticking over.
This only applies when you have placed an initial cost in and budgeted for that interest however, and in many cases it’s a variable and needs to be calculated and accounted for regularly.
This is where banks will traditionally get you! If you can’t or don’t account for the variables then the banks are making more in fees levied against you.
While it’s easy to see these fees as an oops moment and write them off, they add up!
Credit cards are a great example of how the banks love you to spend, the not only give generous, unneeded credit limits. They also play on your worthiness by marketing their cards as if it’s a competition to see who can have the best colour card.
It’s all a game to the big banks and this type of preditiory marketing should not be encouraged or accepted within our banking market.
The benifits offered by banks should flow to everyone, not just those who qualify for a gold plated card prepared to pay 5x the yearly fee.
It’s a trap that people fall into more often than not and I believe it’s the banks responsibility to educate their clients in the proper use of any credit product.
Of course as I stated it’s also up to the consumer to accept the lessons being offered, but we as consumers don’t want to read a lot of small print, and this is where the banks hide the most relevant information.
It is possible for people to find a balance, I don’t think it’s entirely the banks responsibility to make this happen. I do see merit in having these tools built into things such as the app though, and would encourage Xinja to do all that it can to make it as easy as possible without making it too complex.
I believe that anything that is done needs to be understood by the consumer, so it can’t be so easy that it makes them lazy or just willing to tick the I accept box.
The community needs as much education as they can get just as the banks need a good kick in the pants for making it as confusing as possible, and all a symbol of your status in life.
@Xinjarebel - extremely noble outline of what can be achieved if a financial institution wants to go down the path of financial education.
I don’t disagree with a lot of points you’ve made, I think Xinja can solve them from the bank’s side.
I’m anti-credit cards, and I’m anti-personal loans, in fact consumer lending generally (to avoid being called a hypocrite I should confirm I have neither).
BUT a bank as to make money off the money it possesses, so if it chooses to enter these markets then it should do so responsibly as you say. And I agree, lending does provide the lifeblood of the economy we’ve constructed!
I would note two final things though just to clarify my thoughts and opinions - which as with all should be taken with a grain of :
- Credit cards compound. Big problem. You are prudent Graham, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests that most people are not diligent in paying their balances off.
- Cash is king. If you buy something with cash research shows (* I don’t know how to insert a footnote here) when you use cards for payments, you spend more.
There’s also a great summary report here: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201702_cfpb_Consumer-Insights-on-Managing-Spending.pdf
And heaps of great research here: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/
- Dilip Soman, Effects of Payment Mechanisms on Spending Behavior: The Role of Rehearsal and Immediacy of
Payments, Journal of Consumer Research 27, 2001.
I wonder whether there’s something from a product perspective @BlueSky_Xinja that you could do to create the same sensation when you spend with your card as cash digitally so it affects the brain chemistry in the same way.
Don’t know, but I’ve been about this a lot lately.
Thanks @Azzy and welcome - agreed - it’s a big word to use if we don’t live up to it! What if we fall into bureaucratic traps and fall into banky behaviour? It’s also temporary. To quote Susie Orbach “I don’t look good for 40 - this is what 40 looks like these days.” We want to change banking & therefore the meaning of banky - as soon as we do ‘unbanky’ is no longer a positive!
I would agree that for most people credit would make you spend more, but not for all.
The problem I see with personal loans are that they don’t generally have a redraw facility, and those loans that do come at a cost.
So while I understand that some may need the facility of a personal loan, they are as fraught with danger as every other credit product on the market, and have been a tool of both the banks and their partner businesses to make consumers spend.
I personally see a Credit card differently, and I think that the #unbankey thing to do would be to rename them for starters.
To me my credit card is a financial lifeline. It’s not a line of credit to enable my wants, it’s rather a line of credit to guarantee my needs.
I can honestly say that in years past… many of them… I have been at the point where I could not afford the essentials in a cash only economy.
For some this may seem ridiculous, however, when you are faced with mounting bills, a family to feed, and no matter how hard you try the fees levied by big business and the banks keep knocking you down. You either learn to go without the basics and have a terrible credit rating, or you find a better way.
I found a better way, and for me it allowed me to save and increase my spending at the same time because I do not have the late fees on any bill, I do not have extra fees on any bank account, and I do not allow marketing to dictate who i’am.
You may call it frugal, but I don’t think I actually am. I spend more now than I ever did and save more as well.
Of course I take full advantage of the banks reward programs too.
I do however see so many who fall into the traps the banks have set in the past. They need to have a 20k dollar credit limit when they really only need 3k and they think the gold card makes a merchant see them as a better person.
While the banks are guilty of providing a product that creates and plays on our need to be and look the best, we as consumers are also guilty of thinking we need to look that way too.
If Xinja offer a credit card option, and I wouldn’t see why they shouldn’t, I would certainly like to see a one card fits all option with realistic limits.
What is actually set-up and how consumers use it is totally out of my hands however, and I stand ready to applaud or criticise as required.