Market not yet ready for Moven.
I joined Datamonitor as an analyst in 2009, specializing in issues related to the Retail Banking sector. The succession ...
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Moven, the brainchild of Bank 3.0 author Brett King, is set for a beta launch in the US in late February. Despite, or perhaps because of its radical approach to banking services, Moven will struggle to acquire customers in large numbers.
The new US-based provider, formerly called Movenbank, is gambling on the idea that branches are an outmoded channel and that consumers are ready to embrace the concept of a virtual bank that only exists in the digital realm.
By avoiding the high overheads associated with running a branch network, Moven will be able to keep operating costs to a minimum. Its modern IT systems will also allow it to provide innovative, mobile-based services, such as advanced, realtime personal financial management and constantly updated analysis of customers’ spending patterns and financial health.
All this may not be enough to tempt consumers, however. Datamonitor’s 2012 Financial Services Consumer Insight Survey found that 90% of US consumers regard a conveniently located branch as an essential feature. Furthermore, only 26% of those questioned would even consider switching to a bank with no branches. Of particular concern for Moven is that younger consumers are just as conservative as their older counterparts in their attitudes toward bricks-and-mortar.
Moven looks impressive on paper, but consumers are just not ready to embrace virtual banks right now. The move is a brave gamble, but one that is likely to prove too far ahead of its time.