1. Fidor currently has more than 200,000 people registered and 150,000 community members. It has €160m worth of deposits, and its lending totals about €100m. With only 34 staff, no branches and a cost of only €3.50 to set up a customer with full banking, the overheads are low compared with traditional banks.

    Fidor is a German online-only bank set up through a social media/community approach. Still very early days for them (the article goes on to explain that only 30% of the community members have taken up the full banking service - and in the context of the German market 45,000 is tiny) but their approach is different and interesting.

    Ok, so New Zealand is probably a bit small to support an approach like this as the only way to get a new bank up and running… but it would be fascinating to try running something like this as a brand overlay over an existing bank’s services.

  2. However, as a commercial strategist looking for the opportunities three to five years ahead, I would far rather bet on the secure data vault banks than the branch-based monetary banks. The latter were built for the industrial revolution. We now need more banks built for the information revolution.