Barclays Just Showed Up to the Party We’ve Been Hosting for a Year

by Ron Daly

FinovateFall 2013 takes place in New York City this week. It seems like it was only a year ago that we were on stage with My Virtual StrongBox, the online safe deposit box. And there’s good reason for that – it was a year ago.

In that time, My Virtual StrongBox has been picked up by seven large financial institutions. Over 1.2 million users are allowed access with thousands of people uploading files of all kinds that they’d like to keep safe and secure behind their credit union’s/bank’s/financial provider’s online banking. CUES (the Credit Union Executive Society) thought so much of My Virtual StrongBox that it’s offering the service for free to its members. It’s been a big year for the little storage solution that could.

Barclays bank has been busy in the past year, too. They’ve come up with their own version of an online safe deposit box to fill the role for their customers and users. You might think we’re a bit put out that Barclays has come up with their own version of our product, right?

Wrong. We couldn’t be happier.

Why, you ask? Well, for starters, it shows that there is a concern out there for the well-being of customers’ data, as well as their money. It used to be that the bank or credit union branch was there to keep customers’ and members’ financial and personal information in one place, securely and professionally. As time has gone on, people have come to think about banks and credit unions as simply one more obstacle between their money and their daily lives. What a disservice this does to financial institutions – to be considered just another chore rather than a trusted partner in the personal lives of  customers and members.

Barclays is looking to change that. So is My Virtual StrongBox.

As I write this, Apple is gearing up to announce yet another line extension of its wildly popular iPhone. There will also be new iPads, some say, and the new iOS 7 to make it all feel shiny and new again. Millions of Americans and people all over the world are buying up iPhones, iPads, and iEverything else. Those that aren’t will be buying similar devices from Samsung, HTC and what will soon be the lovechild of the Microsoft-Nokia buy. Smartphones are helping to fill in the gaps of limited Internet access for poorer areas and minorities and bringing the fire of the future to the hands, purses and pockets of the masses.

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