The balance has tipped for me: Experiences of current account switching

My seven-day itch led to a live-test of the seven-day switch from one current account provider to another. And guess what – it was easy

On Thursday the UK Payments Council announced that the number of Britons switching bank accounts grew by 12% to 1.16 million in 2014, marking significant progress in the UK government’s push to boost competition in the consumer financial products market.

They also stated that 69% of Britons now knew about seven-day switching, up from 59% at the end of 2013, and that more and more consumers have confidence in the current account switching service.

Seven-day switching legislation

Back in October 2013 I wrote a blog called “The seven-day itch” which looked forward to the seven-day switching legislation coming into force and how it would drive digital adoption in the market place.

I had been a customer of one of the first wave of “direct” challenger banks, Intelligent Finance, since its launch in 2000 and have for many years been satisfied with its first generation online experience and call centre service. I was one of a generation that has been used to a world of personal banking without branches.

However, like millions of other consumers I have become used to satisfying my data snacking habit – whether it’s train times, weather forecasts or share movements – on the go with my mobile.

Where’s my App?

As the leader of a business at the forefront of the digital evolution I kept asking my bank “Where’s my app?”

Anyway, with no app on the horizon I have just live-tested the seven-day switch of my current account, whilst switching my savings and credit card at the same time. There is one word for that experience: EASY, and, to me, it reiterates how important it is that the government and regulators force current account providers to inform their customers just how easy this process is.

As a consumer I can now make financial enquiries and transactions through the banking app on my mobile or on the web through my PC as and when I choose.

Better levels of service and access to data

I am convinced that progressively more customers will insist on a ubiquitous level of service from their financial service providers. They will be able to interact with their financial data whenever and wherever they choose. Those organisations with legacy approaches to the digital revolution will be trampled when the seven-day itch becomes the seven-day rush.