The father of savings banks

My first financial goal Although I’d never been to Cheshunt and I didn’t know what a Building Society actually did my teenage self dutifully visited the counters of the Cheshunt Building Society 1 each Saturday to handover a small portion of my weekly newspaper round earnings. In return for handing over a couple of pound notes to... Continue Reading →

Taranis Capital announces its Advisory Board

Taranis Capital’s Advisory Board will comprise internationally recognised leaders from banking, fintech, capital markets, and technology. The formation of the Advisory Board marks another significant milestone for Taranis following its launch at the beginning of May 2023. Taranis Capital, An ethical, fintech-focused investment fund envisaged by its founding members, who each bring knowledge and experience suited... Continue Reading →

Responding to a super complaint

Celebrating 10 years of the Cash ISA Transfer Service Most of us will know that a cash ISA – standing for Individual Savings Account – is similar to a regular savings account, but there is no tax to pay on any of the interest you earn. In the UK you can put away up to £20,000 in... Continue Reading →

The trends transforming today’s digital banking

In this blog we are pleased to explore the trends transforming today’s digital banking - a piece written by Vasile Valcov, Chief Commercial Officer at Salt Edge. Close your eyes for a second. Imagine you’ve just looped into the future and are now getting ready to order something online. You’re scrolling through websites, looking for the perfect match... Continue Reading →

Banks should compete over help with financial wellbeing

Banks and building societies should compete with each other to offer the best set of tools and services to help customers address financial problems that were worsened by the pandemic, a think-tank says. The Social Market Foundation said that new “consumer duty” rules being introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority should drive financial services firms to improve the way... Continue Reading →

Banking on the High Street

The most common street name in the United Kingdom is “High Street”. Did you know that it is derived from the Old English word “heah” which means “most important”? Social historian Juliet Gardiner explains that “it was in the 1860s and 70s that the High Street as we know it came about. Because of urbanisation,... Continue Reading →

Agency Banking: Holding customers back

In this blog we feature a point of view from Andrew Smith, CTO, Founding Member and ClearBank. In his blog Andrew considers whether agency banking is holding customers back. Agency Banking If you are new to the term “agency banking” then think of it simply as this, most banks are actually customers of bigger banks. The bigger banks... Continue Reading →

What’s the Chase?

Tanya Thourani has been reflecting on Chase’s entry into the UK’s current account banking marketplace: Source: Tanya Thourani Tanya asks: Will you value a modern offering from an established financial institution or a more established offering from a modern institution?Last month, JPMC launched a digital retail bank in the U.K, challenging the British rivals (Neo +... Continue Reading →

A question of trust

Ahead of last week’s Money2020 event Anne Boden (CEO over at Starling Bank) has been gathering her thoughts on trust in the banking industry and the future of embedded finance. OK, I’ll say it. A lot of people don’t trust banks. This was, in great part, a motivation for the creation of Starling. Dissatisfaction with banks was... Continue Reading →

Happy St. Lubbock’s Day

Bank Holidays in the UK were introduced in 1871 by banker and politician John Lubbock, the first Baron of Avebury.  As well as his banking and political activities Sir John was also a scientific writer and tried to teach his dog to read. According to Horace G. Hutchinson in the Life of Sir John Lubbock,... Continue Reading →

Synchronised lending helps merchants fund improvements and keep the cash flowing…

As the high street once again opens up to customers without restrictions, retailers’ thoughts will soon turn to restocking, upgrading and investing in new staff, fixtures and fittings.  Now, thanks to CIP Capital, a new partnership between Card Industry Professionals (CIP) and YouLend, CIP merchants can access funding quickly and effortlessly, to help make improvements... Continue Reading →

Latest articles

Here's a selection of articles written by Mike Chambers which have recently featured in third party publications: PCN Magazine - July 2021 Have digital options even replaced the petty cash tin? Click on the image to access the article. Global Banking & Finance Review - July 2021 The transformation of payments during the pandemic Click... Continue Reading →

Top 5 takeaways: Consumer Digital Banking Survey

Sarah Rutherford at FICO has commissioned a survey of 1,000 adults in each of fourteen countries to canvas them about their attitudes to opening a range of different financial accounts digitally using websites and apps.  Sarah reports that there were some very interesting findings and some results that challenged her pre-conceptions and received wisdom!  Sarah’s... Continue Reading →

Converting pounds into kilograms

Can green Fintech’s save the planet? In the latest edition of #fincuts Tanya Thourani asks: How cool is it if your card doesn't just buy things but fights climate change? How cool is it if Fintechs could convert pounds into kilograms of carbon emitted?Can you tell which is killing more turtles: the plastic straw or your friend’s flight from... Continue Reading →

No time to stop, the Revolution is here to stay

Mark O’Keefe at Optima Consultancy has published a German Mobile Banking App review. Three take aways from Mark’s report: The challenger banks continue to raise the bar when it comes to what can be done in a mobile banking app. New entrant C24 have launched with a proposition stronger than most in the market and challengers continue to release features... Continue Reading →

Five ways for a Fintech to make money

Tanya Thourani has been thinking about how Fintech’s make money and has come up with five models: Nice & Simple : Subscriptions or Service Fees. Make it count : Brokerage Fees. Most Lucrative : Third Parties. Oldest Buddy : Advertising. The Gold Mines : Data & APIs. Read Tanya’s blog: Five ways for a Fintech to make... Continue Reading →

Payments modernisation programmes

Many payments systems around the world are being improved or rebuilt to serve the needs of a modern, digital culture. Payments System Modernisation is a huge challenge that affects the entire payments ecosystem. XMLdation have created an Infographic that shows the breadth of the impact globally for real time, high value, and other types of payments.... Continue Reading →


Imagination: What could you do with a loan from Barclays? Earlier this week I posted an assignment from my late 1980's Chartered Institute of Bankers course - this led me to wonder how did my fictional South East Bank pamphlet compare with real bank adverts from the late 1980's?

Banking 1980’s style

When studying for my Chartered Institute of Banking exams as a Grade 1 Bank Clerk in the late 1980's little did I know where my banking career would take me! My roles in product management, as the CEO of systemically important payment systems, my responsibility for the live launch of the Current Account Switching Service... Continue Reading →

Will you build a wall or a windmill?

When the winds of change blow some people build walls while others build windmills As the old Chinese proverb goes, ‘when the winds of change blow some people build walls while others build windmills’. Firmly in the windmill camp is Gavin McLean, head of product – payments, at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, part of Lloyds Banking Group,... Continue Reading →

Meet the trailblazers

The Inclusion Foundation highlights that 1.23m of the UK’s most vulnerable do not have access to a bank account and such disadvantaged segments of society find it very challenging to pay and get paid.  They report that the problem is being further exasperated by the social isolation measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19,... Continue Reading →

Banking on IT

Banking on IT: How I Disrupted an Industry by Anne Boden BANKING ON IT is the first-hand account of one woman’s quest to rebuild Britain’s broken banking system. After a lengthy career at the top of some of Britain’s leading banks Anne Boden had become disillusioned with the status quo – the financial crash had... Continue Reading →

Wooden debit card

Forget your flash metal debit cards, eco-friendly search engine Ecosia has invested £1 million for a 20% stake in TreeCard, a wooden payment card that channels profits from merchant surcharges into reforestation programmes.  TreeCard comes with an app that lets users track spending, split bills with friends and monitor how many trees have been planted... Continue Reading →

Mobile banking app review – junior edition

Mark O’Keefe’s (Founding director at Optima Consultancy and PSR Panel member) nine year old daughter has produced her own version of the Optima Consultancy banking app review, Amy’s review covers junior accounts. Which account does she think a child would say is best out of goHenry, Starling Bank, Revolut and RoosterMoney and why?  What advice... Continue Reading →

Happy 50th Birthday!

On this day in 1958 the credit card industry was born - and who better than Dave Birch to help us celebrate! In an article published today by Forbes Dave writes: Today is a very important day for us payments nerds. It is the anniversary of the “Fresno Drop”, the birth of the modern credit... Continue Reading →

The first banking disruptor?

In 1984 one UK bank was concerned about losing customers and made a decision that fundamentally changed how Britain’s banking landscape operated.  Midland Bank, then one of the UK’s big four banking groups (now HSBC), got rid of fees for cheques, statements and standing orders. In other words, it made banking free of charge -... Continue Reading →

Current Account Switches begin to rise

The number of people switching bank accounts is starting to recover according to data just published by Pay.UK. 43,377 Current Account Switches occurred in August 2020 - a significant uplift when compared to the past three months, similar to April but still a far cry from the 111,327 switches that occurred in March. Read, subscribe... Continue Reading →

Personal banking service quality

Ipsos MORI have published results of an independent service quality survey of personal banking in Great Britain. The results are from an independent survey carried out between July 2019 and June 2020 by Ipsos MORI as part of a regulatory requirement, and the information is published at the request of the providers and the Competition and Markets... Continue Reading →

Banking in the age of the robot

This article first appeared in the Payments, Payments, Payments newsletter – read, subscribe and share: Banking in the age of the robot is the first in a series of trends papers which investigate social and economic contextual factors that are influencing millennials’ attitudes towards and engagement with the financial system.  The paper provides a snapshot... Continue Reading →

IBAN: The only bank account format you’ll ever need

What is an IBAN? … and why would I need one? Jonathan Williams, Director, Mk2 Consulting Standardisation is generally a good thing, at least that’s what ISO – the International Organisation for Standardisation – believes, and this applies to financial transactions more than most. The International Bank Account Number – pronounced “eye-ban” in the UK... Continue Reading →

Northey Point’s Bookstore

Recommended reading: Add them to your reading list and let me know what you think. The Currency Cold War by David Birch The way that money works now is a blip. It’s a temporary institutional arrangement agreed in response to specific political, technological and economic circumstances. As these circumstances change, so money must change. Many... Continue Reading →

Current Account Switch volumes impacted by COVID19

Pay.UK have just published the monthly Current Account Switch Service data for April 2020. The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) has completed 6.6 million switches since launching in 2013, 280,520 of which took place between January and March 2020. Despite the impact of COVID19, March saw the third highest number of Current Account Switches since... Continue Reading →

Switching winners

Today, 30 April 2020, saw the publication by Pay.UK of the Current Account Switch Service Dashboard covering the period 1 January to 31 March 2020. The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) has completed 6.6 million switches since launching in 2013, 280,520 of which took place between January and March 2020. With much talk of the... Continue Reading →

Up ↑