|Hey there, I'm Irish, and here our banks are shady and private. The government owns most of them (through bailouts) yet still there's little to no transparency - they act as the please, grabbing as much profit off their customers as possible. Most people here hate their bank and would gladly move to a half decent alternative, but of course there is none. It's identical in most countries nowadays, including the US. I think we can all agree that fundamentally, the finance industry is backward, greedy and corrupt. It needs to change.|
Here's the idea: An open source, upfront, transparant and humane bank driven not by profit but by the passion to simply create a bank that people like and enjoy using.
A few key ideas or keystones might include:
This wouldn't just be a projects for fellow developers. We'd need designers, lawyers, and people involved in banks who are dissatisfied at the current status quo (after all we'll need a partner bank in every country we want to operate in to avoid logistical nightmares). I really think it could be a project anyone could help out in - Think of it as a generation coming together to drag one of the biggest industries in the world into the 21st century.
* Transparant/Open Source
* Non Profit
* Great Customer Support
* Few and fair fees
* Great User Experience
* Mobile First (cliche I know..)
* Open API
By partnering with a local bank in each country, it would cut out a lot of issue logistically, making the project a lot easier to implement than just building a new bank from the ground up.
By the way, my email address is npaterson1 [at] gmail [dot] com if you're interested/want to know more :)
P.S Regarding Credit Unions, I can see why people are bringing them up but mcuy issue with them is that they don't offer stuff like checking accounts, atms etc, aren't really open that much, are exceptionally slow at allowing you withdraw and are completely offline. That's just my experience, but I don't think you could actually bank with a credit union, which is what I'm trying to get at.
P.P.S I think if you were to look at the three things I mentioned - online, non profit and open source, non profit is the one I think is least differentiable if that makes any sense. I think an online open source bank is the real innovative part, not the non profit part.
EDIT: A lot of people are asking something along the lines of 'well this works when it comes to banking, what else is there to it?'. I think banking is a really really backward system, there's so much you could do, simple tiny things that would make experiences so much more pleasant. Here's an example: Imagine if your bank account had a profile, almost like a social network, and you could go to someone else's profile and quickly see recent transactions you've had with them. I'm not thinking of something like a credit union, rather something quite different, and I really feel there's lots more that can be done with banking from a tech pov. I don't get why we have to assume banking is as advanced as it can be, it's clearly not.