Big banks are big institutions, and they have certain “corporate inertia” they have to follow, and thus, innovations from big banks are few and far in between. Instead, we have to often look toward non-Western countries for some fresh thinking in banking. Here are two examples that show some truly interesting ideas:
Mobilny Wplatomat from Idea Bank, Poland
Idea Bank’s MW is basically Uber-bank on wheels, which was one commentator wrote about it. It is a mobile ATM that you can summon if you live within the service area of the bank. The bank has a small fleet of these mobile ATMs built into BMW i3 electric cars or Ford Transit Connect wagons. MW is a mobile deposit box that comes to you when summoned and scheduled, and it is still a full-service ATM that works anywhere. It is much cheaper than hiring a bodyguard or an armoured vehicle, especially if you have a business that deals a lot in cash.
Nimble, smart little loans, Australia
Nimble can be described as the anti-payday loan. Nimble can approve micro-loans from A$100 to A$1,200 within 60 minutes of a paper-less application. Typical approval time for a first-time applicant is less than 6 minutes. It is EXPENSIVE, at 20% of the capital as “establishment fee”, and 4% monthly interest. However, the interest is charged only on the principal, not on the total outstanding amount. And money is sent usually in less than 15 minutes. They also offer their own Prepaid Visa Card which allows accessing the loan balance immediately. Nimble does NOT renew or roll-over loans, which limits the amount of debt one can build up over time. Missed payments do accrue penalties though, but some can be waived if borrower contacts the company first and explain the circumstances.
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