Believe it or not, First Direct will reach its 21st birthday on 1st October.
Back in the pre-internet days of 1989, First Direct came to market as a telephone bank, and their call centre has, apparently, never been closed since that first day of receiving calls.
They started a limited internet banking service back in 1997, with a full service available in 1998 – surely one of the first banks to really embrace the web.
In more recent times, they’ve taken a more proactive approach to social media than most of the other banks, with their official Twitter accounts a good example of this.
Their CEO, Matt Colebrook, has been talking to Reuters about how things have changed in the banking industry in the 21 years since they started, and how the industry will look in the future:
Matt believes the social web will be key to the banks:
The social web gives both customers and non-customers a voice; a place where they can be heard both by brands and each other. For us in the banking industry it provides the perfect arena; we can see ‘gripes’ and ‘niggles’ and whether these are collective or individual they allow us to source discontent, which provides food for thought in how we can make things better.
I think this will be the standard for the industry in the future; consumers working with us in order to help fashion our products and service. Whether the conversation is positive, negative or indifferent; as bankers, we must act upon it. It’s this feedback that will shape the way the industry works.
It would be interesting to hear Matt’s thoughts on how we shall access our banking data in the future – internet banking has given us far greater control over our money, with a far larger amount of data about our transactions. How will we access and use this data (securely)? What role will mobile phones play?
- Fraud Warning For Bank Customers On Twitter (September 10, 2015)
- HSBC Online Banking “Back To Normal” (January 7, 2016)
- Halifax Online Banking Redesign (September 2, 2015)
- Ernest: Latest Chatbot To Bring Artificial Intelligence To Your Bank Account (January 25, 2017)
- Mobile #1 Channel For First Direct Customers (November 10, 2018)