Assumptions are the mother of all F@#$ ups.

In recent weeks there has been an over whelming amount of cases arising where large multi-national banks appear to be making assumptions on consumer preferences in the ever changing financial services market., which in today’s modern world of Social Network result in the rapid spread of consumer opinion.

ANZ to kill non-iPhone mobile banking:
ANZ, the first bank to bring Mobile Banking to Australia and the bank that gave birth to Cambodia’s WING Money, decided with little consumer engagement to kill all mobile banking except iPhone Banking.

HSBC, BofA, ANZ struggle with Social Media
Brett King, author or Bank 2.0 and serial blogger experience multi-national banking hell as he attempted to pay Singaporean Dollars onto his Hong Kong Credit Card at a HSBC Premier branch in Singapore.

So hard to change Ez-Reload top-up value:
Wu Min Xiu, a journalist in Singapore was re-issued his expirying Credit Card with EZ-Link, only to be faced with a month long process to have his card re-configured to the old cards re-charge preferences for his EZ-Link facility.

Mobile financial services growing quickly but banks missing opportunities
As Telco’s and Third Party Service providers rapidly push into the Mobile Banking/Payments space, they quick eat up market share, particularly where they appeal to the younger generations that feel their needs aren’t being met by banks.

From my opinion these are material examples of a trend that I have noticed in the banking market where banks assume to know their consumers behaviour and preferences. But in reality it appears the decision makers are far from customer facing.

With the development of payments and agency banking regulations across the globe, third parties including Telco’s have seized the opportunities to offer consumer payments services such a Mobile Money & Payments offerings. Recent statistics show that MTN MobileMoney is on track to becoming one of Africa’s largest Financial Services providers, Octopus Cash Cards continue to penetrate the cash markets of Hong Kong, taking deposits away from the retail banks, more and more payments services are offered by non-banks. Will this trend continue? A world banks are so disconnected from the realities of their a fast moving tech savvy markets that third party service providers change the framework retail banking and payments to faster more innovative offerings that can adapt at high velocity and fulfill seasonal, fad and niche consumer choices in the market, then move onto the next evolutionary change with ease and speed. Will the bank take a back step to manage the risk and regulatory asides to deposits, while payments services are offered in the market as iPhone apps, NFC services and Cash Cards.

My thought, in 5 years times your deposits/accounts will sit with a bank for regulatory protection, but you’ll transact and do payments via third party technology based services.