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Many of us have had the experience: It’s your first time going to a bank alone. You’re nervous because you don’t know a lot about money management. You tell yourself it’s going to be fine. But once you enter the bank, it seems like nothing about the process is designed to make you less nervous – on the contrary!

As soon as you step into the building you feel uncomfortable, and a thousand questions flood your mind: Am I in the right place? Should I really have worn these jeans? Should I have prepared myself better? Are they going to really help me or take advantage of me?

Almost a decade ago, McDonald’s launched their famous “Come as you are” campaign. The message was simple yet powerful: It doesn’t matter who you are, what you like, or even how you dress – there will always be a place for you at McDonald’s.

Why do banks stress us out?

Almost a decade ago, McDonald’s launched their famous “Come as you are” campaign. The message was simple yet powerful: It doesn’t matter who you are, what you like, or even how you dress – there will always be a place for you at McDonald’s. Banking, on the other hand, has traditionally evoked more or less the opposite feeling.

While banks are trying to be more inclusive nowadays, there is still progress to be made. As a young person entering a bank for the first time, you will likely feel you don’t belong, that you’re not dressed the right way, or that you don’t know enough.

And while 10 years ago, you would still have had to go to a physical bank in order to open a bank account, take care of your finances, or invest, nowadays, new digital solutions have emerged on the market that allows you to take care of all things financial, right from your smartphone.

The rise of neo-banks

It’s not uncommon to meet people that haven’t been to a bank or met with an advisor for years. And it’s all due to neo-banks. According to the latest report from ZHAW and the University of St Gallen, in Switzerland, 10% of the population had used a neo-bank at least once in 2020. And why is that?

There are many explanations regarding the boom of neo-banks around the world, but the most common one is simple: For a lot of people, having easier access to their bank accounts and taking care of their finances by themselves is a huge advantage. And while working from home has become common since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, banking from home may soon follow as the new default.

You can now “Come as you are” when it comes to your bank. With neo-banks and investment apps, you can show up whenever you want, dressed the way you want and – all from the comfort of your own couch.

While we may not feel comfortable revealing our lack of knowledge to another person face to face, we often won’t feel the same fear when interacting through an app or a website.

Owning your banking experience

The way banks have traditionally operated can be very stressful for those who are new to them: Some of us are not used to talking about our finances, and meeting a financial expert can be a source of fear. When banking from home, on the other hand, you don’t need to worry about how you’ll be perceived when you enter a bank.

The same is true when it comes to building trust. While the majority of people working in the banking sector are still men, as a woman it may be hard to identify with a bank when you are surrounded mainly by men. The same goes for younger customers entering a bank full of older professionals.

However, the later you meet with a banker or an advisor, the later you’ll actually start planning your financial goals. Meeting with a banker in your 20s can really help you set your personal goals and think about your life and so, your financial objectives.

When banking from home, the bank comes to you, and you have more control over your own experience. You can imagine the bank and your virtual advisors as you would like them to be. So you’ll be more confident to meet with a banker or an advisor at a younger age.

A bank should reflect its clients – and the easiest way to do that is to put them in control.

Building financial self-esteem

Banking from home can also be a great way to gain self-confidence in the financial world.

While conducting a survey, Alpian found that 18% of the 383 respondents hadn’t invested yet. 54% of women and 31% of men cited not knowing enough as the main reason. Banking and investing from home can help bridge this knowledge gap.

While we may not feel comfortable revealing our lack of knowledge to another person face to face, we often won’t feel the same fear when interacting through an app or a website.

Taking a call from the safety of your house, with all your documents (and even notes) at hand, will also help you be more prepared. And more focused meetings generally ensure better outcomes. By having less facetime with your advisor, you may actually gain more insights into the banking and financial industry. And thus, gain more confidence!

P.S.: Banking from home also has one obvious advantage: It saves you time.

Instead of going to your bank to speak to someone, you can enjoy this time off to prepare your next meeting with your advisor by reading this article (Meeting with a financial advisor? Carry these 5 expectations) or learn more about the basics of investing with our Masterclass.


The content of any publication on this website is for informational purposes only.

About the author

Mattia is an experienced relationship manager who has more than a decade of industry experience. He spent 10 years at Credit Suisse working his way up from apprentice to Assistant Vice President at the company’s base in Geneva. He graduated in 2019 from the Kalaidos Banking + Finance School in Lausanne.

He is a football fan, but also likes listening to music and travelling to discover new countries and cultures.

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