Cool Banking

Cool bankingA Revolutionary Bank For Gen-Y

Who knew banking could be cool? With more than 100 different wild credit card designs to choose from and a shopping experience that is more like shopping for gadgets than financial services, FRANK by OCBC is a truly innovative concept designed to attract young working adults with a relevant message and banking experience. Gen-Y customers are usually the least engaged with banks and the way they traditionally provide products and services. The innovative FRANK branch stores in Singapore are designed to allow customers to browse, touch and ask questions about their banking needs.

Young adults rarely have a focus on savings, but FRANK features a “savings enabler” to help customers reach certain goals by creating “savings jars” or sub-accounts for each separate goal. The money put away in a savings jar cannot be accessed through an ATM. Even their website avoids the normal conventions of banking and focuses on simplicity and great design to match the attitude and expressiveness that appeals to Gen-Y.

There are innovation lessons here for other banks that seek to connect more deeply with their customers. Discovering the unique ways customers want to access banking services is the key to building sustainable brand relationships. This deep customer connection may also enable Gen-Y to become more financially savvy about saving and managing their money for a lifetime. And that’s pretty cool.

image credit: thefinancialbrand

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Donna Sturgess is the President and Co-founder of Buyology Inc and former Global Head of Innovation for GlaxoSmithKline. Her latest book is Eyeballs Out: How To Step Into Another World, Discover New Ideas, and Make Your Business Thrive

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7 Responses to Cool Banking

  1. If you don’t know it yet, you should check out Jyske Bank in Denmark. Their website is a TV- station – http://jyskebank.tv – and their branches are designed as cafés with a welcoming atmosphere. They do mobile banking in a very cool designer way over the iPhone and Android, and they are generally way ahead of the curve and have been so for years.

    • Donna Sturgess says:

      I did check it out and another good example of how banking is having to change to appeal to the younger customer who has different needs. Thanks !

  2. Cassie says:

    Nice analysis Donna about Cool Banking..

  3. Jimmy McGarret says:

    The FRANK concept sounds a lot like ‘retail’ banking to me, but the basic premise remains the same? Could you also elaborate further about the idea of ‘touch and…’? What is your take on banking services of another bank like DBS for instance?

    • Donna Sturgess says:

      What is unique about Frank Bank is the high touch environment for this young customer. Touch is both literal (interactive screens, credit card designs to handle and select) and figurative ( touches me with products and services designed for me and my age group.

      It is a bit hard to see from the Singapore bank link you sent whether they are doing that. Great retail space for a bank is different than an environment that draws customers in and services them in an intimate way.

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