"Nowadays, luxury is to talk face to face with a human" - sociologist. "This is the new pyramidal scam: grow and sell, grow and sell" - Start-up experience CTO. "We're here to last" - CPO giving vision. "If you have a paid account, we will follow charging you while you solve the issue" - automatic email.
Some sentences were coming and going from my mind while I was writing an email trying to close an account in a brand new all digital bank. I opened that account forty days before. And I put a significant amount of money there, at least for me.
I do not know if I have to talk about it as a "fin-tech" or if it is just a common bank, given that they have license to act as one. But at the beginning of June I opened an account on one of those fancy new apps that promise you easiness, no problems and lots of advantages. On the other hand, hey, digital transformation, we are no-one.
Everything with your phone, some minutes and you will pass over all the contractual steps of owning a bank account (if this had have any meaning ever). Last, physical verification of your ID and documents... over a video call also on your mobile phone. Awesome. Outsourced.
It was a pain in the back. And my ID was a bit bent. I needed three "calls", one with a guy with a white blanket behind him, another one with a rude woman that hung me, and the third with a more professional one at a crowded call center. But it worked.
I was then in 21st century at last. Amazing app and paying through NFC with my watch contactless. I felt like in Star Trek.
For 40 days. Remember my bent ID. And the validation. Outsourced.
Three days ago I received an automatic email. And an alert from Google Pay. My last pay was suspended. The email explained me that there were some problems with my ID. The solution? I had to solve it, passing again through the validation process. The outsourced one. Meanwhile, they kept my money. Chat, Twitter, all agents, in English, not in my mother tongue because there are no Spanish support, said this was the only solution.
They have a problem, I have to solve it. The customer. By the way, the automatic mail said that if I had a paid account, they will continue charging me.
After three days, today I had an email from a named person. She ask me to repeat the process "maybe through 4G, not a WiFi". Their app encourage to "do the validation through WiFi, not cell data". Also, she gives me the possibility to close the account. You already know what I have chosen and, for the first time, I am loving GDPR and using my rights.
This is not Digital Transformation. For its sake we are doing horrendous things. Forgetting the customer, putting technology first. "Technology porn", I have heard also this week. Masturbating on the latest frameworks and apps. Bullshit. What comes next? Charging the customer for getting in touch with customer support?
Digital Transformation is just understanding that we all humans are transforming the way we relate, they tools we have at our reach and how we use it. And deliver an awesome service above them. Just this. By the way, there is a lot of technology on this, but that is only circumstantial.
A 21st century bank has lost a customer. My nearest friends now who is it, and they will not open an account there, for sure. I do not know the repercussion of all this. By the way, I do not have my money yet, I am waiting for confirmation.
I hope Digital Transformation does not come with robots reading blogs.
Cover photo by Joshua Sortino