What happens behind the screen – the reality of legacy bank technology

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the screen once you apply for a financial product online?

I used to be a consultant in the banking industry. One of our clients was one of the biggest banks in Asia. When customers would apply for a credit card online – they would see a little “thinking” icon after they had pressed submit.

What actually happened next was that there was a human operator on the back end watching the screen. He would receive an email and see the customer’s form submission.

This guy sat in a swivel chair, and believe it or not, he would have to turn to the side, and enter the information manually from one computer to another. He literally had to keep track of two screens on two separate computers at once.

Once the data was copied from the computer containing the customer entry info to the other computer, the human operator would press the “OKAY” button. Then on the customer’s side, the thinking icon would finally disappear after ~30-40 seconds.

There was one person on-call doing this, 24 hours a day (with rotating shifts of course).

He would process hundreds of these customer requests a day, and because this was all manual, there were a TON of errors.

The bank was using old AS/400 IBM computers. And this wasn’t back in 1993. This was 2013!

Work-arounds like this unfortunately don’t work at scale, and aside from creating a massive cost for companies, deteriorate the customer experience. When companies need to innovate, they are held back by legacy systems and outdated processes. This results in Banks struggling to innovate.

We are building Trio, an innovative all-in-one brokerage and checking account, that lets you earn investment returns on your checking balance. When it comes to technology, we are re-thinking how banks work and what that means for customers.

Banks take deposits, invest them in mortgages, and charge mortgage-holders interest. Banks keep most of the interest and pay deposit-holders back pennies. Trio works by taking deposits from customers, investing it for them, and paying back returns while managing liquidity. Trio flips the way in which financial services institutions work to prioritize customers.

The benefits of investing can be significant. Over the past ten years, keeping your money in a moderate risk portfolio (rather than a checking account) would generate over 50% more wealth.

Traditional banks can not adjust quickly and instead spend years and billions of dollars of spending to refit their existing systems for new purposes.

While banks play catch up, the people who ultimately pay are customers, who miss out on the huge benefits from the latest innovations.

If you’re sick of waiting for your bank to play catch up - sign up for a Trio account today!