Over the past few weeks, I’ve read a lot about Fintech and Innovation hubs. Especially about the announcements that the bigger financial institutions are making big investments in these so-called innovation hubs.

This is great! I believe that innovative technology can empower us to achieve more. However, every time I login to my e-banking I’m shocked.

I’m a customer of one of the two very well-known Swiss Banks. When I look at the online banking experience and compare it with all the nice announcements about the investments in innovation, I would honestly prefer that they just spend a little less in the far future and get it right in the moment.

Since I travel quite a bit and have also lived abroad, I can actually compare the innovations from the Swiss Banks I’ve dealt with, and with other institutions around the world.

In fact, even though I do receive the majority of my monthly invoices directly into my e-banking, I still have to select the category every single time I initiate payment. This is just so annoying. Or the fact that my Credit Card expenses from the same Bank is not reflected in the fancy expenditure pie chart. All it states is how much I paid to my credit card, but the information that I spend x-amounts for traveling or food is absolutely not reflected.

In 2010, I created a bank account with Wachovia while living and working in the USA. This bank wasn’t and isn’t even close to size and magnitude of any of the major banks here in Switzerland, but their online banking experience was way better. Not only could it pre-categorize any invoice received in the e-banking, but it also did the same for my Credit card spending. It allowed me to have a much better picture of where I spend my money.

When you travel to the USA, you get to see all these advertisements from many banks promoting their latest and greatest features. It’s surprising how the different banks try to win you over through technological innovations. At this point with all the marketing I’ve received here in Switzerland, I don’t see that at all.

Now, I’m not saying that the big banks shouldn’t be investing in the future. What I would really appreciate is if they would make it a bigger priority and actually invest in the here and now. It’s been 6 years since my experience with Wachovia and my big Swiss bank isn’t even close to their e-banking experience.

That is why I ask myself, “are these innovation hubs just PR for the financial sector?” Or is technological innovation really a priority and if so, why don’t I see this reflected in their online services?

What are your experiences and your thoughts to this?

Written by Dave Kurth
Thriving within my current role as Product Marketing Manager, I am the leader and voice of the Microsoft Azure within the Swiss subsidiary. Views are my own.