MoveNBank was founded in July 2010, will begin to 'alpha test' its services with a select few members of the public on October 1st and will proceed with a soft-launch on July 2012.
What is MoveNBank?
First of all, we need to clarify that MoveNBank is not a bank itself but rather, like BankSimple, a 'reseller' of banking services or an intermediary that stands between the bank and the consumer. It attempts to change the experience that users have around banking but without applying for a banking license, although Mr. King has made it clear that they may, at some point, acquire a bank or build their own for purposes of scale.
1. Mobile only banking, with no paper or plastic
2. NFC-enabled app
3. Incorporates "gamification" in UX
4. According to (10) Startuply, "reinventing credit scores and more with an open, social transparent, and viral model" (sounds P2P lending-esque)
Points 1 and 2 are related since, in order to go paper-less and plastic-less, we need to have an alternative technology for payments. NFC is the most obvious choice at this point in time given the number of phones expected to come out in the next few months that will include NFC chips and the current hype around different implementation of mobile wallets in the marketplace - such as Google Wallet or the ISIS project. These two factors will help accelerate deployment of NFC-enabled POS at stores across the world - although it will probably still take some time for this technology to be truly ubiquitous.
It was really just a matter of time for NFC as a payment method to be offered directly by a bank - or, in this case, by a reseller of banking services. A mobile wallet, as it is defined today, is meant to simplify and improve your shopping experience. Mobile banking, as defined by MoveNBank, is meant to integrate spending and saving, improving the overall control of your finances. Different goals, maybe suitable for different audiences?
The next two elements are particularly innovative: Credit scores and gamification.
3. Reinventing Credit Scores
MoveNBank uses CRED as its credit score mechanism. It recognises a person's social reputation along with their financial behaviours. In other words, as your credit score can be used to recognised how credit worthy you are, your social credibility on Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Amazon and other services can increase trust in dealing with you.
Including a person's on-line presence in the computation of his/her credit score is an extremely innovative concept and one that could indeed help banks get a much better view and understanding of the risk and value a given customer may represent to the institution.
MoveNBank is not trying to make banking a game but it is using the principles of gamification to engage customers and to help them make the right financial decisions in their everyday interactions.
King gives the following example: 'If you want someone to keep a positive balance in their savings account – then allowing them to see that balance or reminding them that a specific transaction or event will take them into negative territory, makes the spend a conscious decision. Is it gamification? It is when you ‘game’ the messaging, and make it frictionless or even fun. We’re playing with that messaging and engagement layer to influence your financial health positively'.
King goes on to say during his Sibos 2011 presentation: '...banking is no longer a place you go, but a thing you do'. It’s necessary for banking to be re-invented to focus upon the 'utility of banking, not the formality of banking'.
So, what are the established banks waiting for? Why not embrace the new technology and move forward with the customers? Today, they still 'own' them. Tomorrow, they may play a secondary role to the experience-centric and technology-savvy new-comers.