First Direct & The Future Of Banking

First Direct

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?

For those who are interested, Matt will be answering questions in a follow-up article on Reuters, and you can submit your questions to him on the original article or on the Reuters Twitter feed.

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One thought on “First Direct & The Future Of Banking

  1. I have been a very happy customer of First Direct virtually since they began. There customer service is always of the highest quality, based in the UK, and ready to have a conversation not just robotically answer questions.

    I used their internet service when still in beta and again the service is excellent.

    One tiny gripe, and it is only tiny, they have been very slow to market with an iPhone or iPad app. That would make the service complete!

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