"Toxic" - Britney Spears
On Saturday, I joined my mom on a trip to our local Wells Fargo. I put shoes on (for the first time in three days) and we headed over.
As we walked in, I felt a familiar sensation. There was a guy at the door wearing a Wells Fargo mask-- and he basically asked us a combination of "Who do you know here" and "Name five brothers."
When did Wells Fargo become a weird, exclusive COVID frat party??
My mom couldn't remember the guy's name who usually helps her... and, well, didn't make an appointment. Almost immediately, the Wells Fargo frat dude told us we couldn't stay and to try again next week.
We were frustrated and unsurprised...
It was a classic bank experience, though. Has banking always felt this toxic? My natural response was to spend the rest of my Saturday daydreaming about... banks. (lol)
Here's how it went down...
First, I wrote down what my relationship to banking looks like:
It only took a few seconds to realize that my list eerily resembles red-flags my friends and I look out for in... human relationships.
Here's my conclusion...
I want a bank that's like one of my best friends, Lori. She's opinionated, wants what's best for me, and has absolutely no problem being honest, even if I don't like what's being said.
Here's how a conversation with that kind of bank would look like:
Our banks should offer us better and safer solutions. They should remind us of our goals and values when we're about to do something stupid.
Here's the problem...
That kind of practice wouldn't make sense for the banks of today. While returns thrive off of uninformed decisions, change isn't likely.
Let's make it make sense
The banks of the future will need to reimagine the entire industry. After all, more than a quarter of US households don't have access to a basic bank account and other financial services.
My ideal bank will not focus on the most vulnerable to generate revenue (cue Wells Fargo in Dirty Money.) Instead, its earnings will rely on relationships with its customers through high-quality services and mutually beneficial business practices.
I'm really curious to know what would your bank of the future would look like. Would it be opinionated like mine? What would you want it to do for you? Let me know!