Digital, like Blockchain, is trendy with banks and FinTechs alike right now. Yesterday it was time for me to go through the annual chore of coordinating all my tax docs for filing here in Switzerland. And I had to log in for my Swiss flight to Stockholm this Monday morning. A dose of realpolitik and observations from the University of Life.

First, a few observations on the document gathering process. This was a hybrid of channels; paper stuff that was pushed to me and digital I had to go and pull: bank statements, mortgage details and some ISSA / IRA (3. Säule) and other pension fund contribution confirm from UBS, one bank statement from CS and a statement of health insurance paid from Sanitas, a local provider.

Easy to summarise; good, bad and ugly.

Good: Credit Suisse. Easy to log in on my laptop, supported by the SecureSign app on my iPhone. Easy to identify the year end statement for tax purposes in the E-mail in basket. One small bug bear, the CS asks me to confirm my last login was in day X. I don’t bloody remember. If you asked me where from, different story.

Bad: Sanitas. Annoying log in process. Sends me text message that I have to copy & paste. Same cruddy procedure if I use the app on the iPhone. Easy to identify the year end statement for tax purposes in the E-mail in basket.

Ugly: UBS. Good login; cut & paste the contract number from an address book, use he Access app and the webpage automatically moves on. Cool, but then it is downhill.

Not at all easy to find the specific docs. They are cryptically labelled “Bestätigung” or “Confirmation”. Then we find the mortgage statements, the year-end details for a few accounts and a statement for my wife’s ISSA contribution but not mine.

Then printing is a horrid affair. You can’t print from the webpage, you have to download, which took me a while to figure out. Then every time I download, an error message appears on screen. Yuk.

On the travel front, some thoughts on on-line check in.

Ugly2: Swiss. Your iPhone sucks big time. Way too many “click”or “presses”. I’d love to post you a video with a commentary, but in short. Too many steps, for example confirming seat, confirming that I don’t want to add a passenger, confirming I have read the warning re what I can’t take on the flight, the same confirm you ask for every time I fly, which is 2x per week. Then you ask me to enter a phone number, where I want the mobile pass sent, even when you already know it, then two taps to download then one more to add to Wallet. Yuk, yuk, yuk.

Next week some thoughts on control and interfaces over my accounts.

Lessons to be Learned: 

Please, all of you, use Biometrics and the TouchID on my iPhone. Learn form UBS, link the smartphone to Web App.

CS, please do not ask me to confirm my last login if all you can quote is the date and time. Please try “Confirm last login from Olaf’s iPhone 6, Stockholm Sweden on Mar 13 at 1930”

UBS & CS: bundle tax docs into one package. I am going to print / download as one unit. Don’t make me hunt. Extra good: send me an email that tells me “tax docs ready, press here to download”

UBS: you need to notice that the ISSA / IRA account is not connected to all the other things my wife and I have in our joint names. Now I now, the banks get all up tight about whether an account is in one name, vs. joint accounts. You need to manage this. Ask us both, once, up front if we want power of attorney and all accounts under our joint umbrella.

Sanitas: sending a text message for me to put a code into your website sucks. Having to re-type the SMS / text code is a pain in the neck.

Swiss: Put your app in the trash can, pour some meth on it and set light to it. Your app is absolute rubbish. For a quick two-step talk to the nice folks at SAS, in your Miles & Less (sic) alliance. Two steps. Don’t ever ask me to re-type anything you already know.

About the Author: I help banks master their post trade processing; optimising, re-engineering, building.

I understand the front-to-back and end-to-end impact of what banks do. That allows me to build the best processes for my clients; ones that deliver on the three key dimensions of Operations: control, capacity and cost.

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