Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So we redesigned the banks

This caught my eye today:

"...Virgin just got into the banking business with the acquisition of Northern Rock, a British bank that we are gradually rebranding Virgin Money. In British banking, few things strike terror in the heart of a customer quite as much as the prospect of facing a tie-wearing, three-piece-suited bank manager across a huge mahogany desk. So we redesigned the banks."
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223670

Virgin is awesome.  I love how they reinvent industries from the ground up around the very fundamental principle of the customer experience.  In many respects they are re-building the company from the outside in, according to the way that customers view the world right now, today.  Not 10, 20, 50 years ago.

From their Virgin Money site:

"Virgin has a history of entering markets to improve things for customers and we want to do the same for banking. We’re here to build a bank that’s fair, transparent and honest – bringing a fresh face and some much-needed competition to the high street."
http://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/northern-rock/

Why for example do banks have walk up counters?  This has got to be because of security related to cash.  But what percentage of banking is cash?  Why not just set up a teller window for the (very few) cash transactions that a bank actually does?  Why make this the central metaphor for customer interaction.

Hey Virgin... won't you please reinvent healthcare and education??