by Steve Topper
In a normal environment, the consumer checking account is a very simple product. It’s a basic bank account you open to hold your money until you need it. As you need it you access your money one of several ways.
Opening a checking account is easy as there is only one type of checking account available. In the early days, the biggest decision was the choice of check designs.
For well over a century access to your money occurred in two ways – you walked into a branch and made a withdrawal or you wrote a check.
Simplicity at its best.
Since the advent of the ATM in the early 1960s, technology has provided us with additional ways to access our money – including ATM withdrawals, automatic transfers, swiping a debit card at the point of sale, PayPal, and now mobile phone payments.
Still, in theory the checking account remains a very simply product.
Unfortunately, we no longer live in a normal environment.
Today the checking account has become one of the most complex products offered by the nation’s banks and credit unions.
For the past several decades, it’s been the victim of ongoing product development teams and an army of consultants whose aim is to slice and dice the consumer market into smaller and smaller segments and design a checking account for each segment.continue reading »