Such is the proposition of Movenbank, a startup which launched at Sibos with a tagline of “No Paper, No Plastic, No Hidden Fees.” It aims to be the first cardless and branchless bank in the world. Everything will be centered on mobile and social media. The tagline is catchy enough, but what’s really raising eyebrows is Movenbank’s requirement for individuals to register and log in with their Facebook accounts. Now, I happened to speak at Sibos this year (Innotribe session on compliance), and the general consensus among my peers was that the problem with social media really wasn’t compliance, but rather, the enablement of it.
Here, with Movenbank, you get a perfect example of how the enablement of social media opens up new opportunities that perhaps might not have been possible five years ago. Privacy and security issues aside, if Movenbank succeeds with its grand plan, we’ll have witnessed a game-changing blend of old-school (banks) and new school (mobile and social). The fact that it involves real money makes it that much more compelling.
It’s possible with today’s technology to enable social media safely. Since we’re on the topic of banking, already we’ve begun to see firms deploy technology to enable their advisors and representatives to use social for marketing to customers and prospects. As the financial services industry is one of the most regulated when it comes to social media, technology plays a crucial role in assisting firms to remain compliant with current supervision and recordkeeping rules.
Back to Movenbank. Privacy advocates are quick to pounce on the seeming contradiction in using Facebook to log into a bank account that could potentially have someone’s entire life savings. But, as we’ve seen with Raymond James, with the right tools in place, what may have seemed impossible five years ago is now doable.
So, let’s not be too hasty in writing off Movenbank. With the right controls and technology in place, they may yet see their dream come to fruition.