The rise of the challenger bank

Public confidence in the banking system after the financial crisis has weakened. Traditional high street banks have been forced to deal with the immediate and ongoing consequences of crisis at significant cost and demand on resources. Consumer demand for change has led to the rise of the challenger bank whose goals are superior service and demonstrable value. BFC Bank is a challenger bank that obtained its UK banking licence in 2016 and is part of BFC Group whose origins date back more than 100 years.

What are the core benefits of challenger banks over incumbent providers?
A clean start with a focus on technology

One of the immediate advantages for a business starting from scratch is clean new technology. Start-ups are unencumbered by legacy systems so it is easier and cheaper to implement radical innovation. Incumbent banks spend billions on systems upgrades, which delivers slow and cautious change. Technology upgrades to legacy systems introduce the risks of downtime and delays to consumer transactions. Business interruptions frustrate clients and may also result in regulatory action and fines. Challenger banks focus their strategy on the client and deploy the very latest technology to meet customer needs efficiently and effectively.

Operational agility

Challenger banks, unlike established incumbents, are not constrained by extensive branch networks. BFC Bank passes operational savings directly to the clients. State of the Art FX execution is a compelling example of a new, cost-effective challenger solution delivered with excellent service levels.

Many established banks are closing branches. As an online bank, BFC Bank, with scalable infrastructure, does not face such challenges and delivers services seamlessly to clients who access their bank entirely at their convenience.

Meeting client expectations

Consumers expect to have more control of the services they buy; challenger firms are in a unique position to innovate products which facilitate self-service and provide on-demand client support. Clients should focus on their core business and eliminate labour-intensive dealings associated with historical systems and the work practices of incumbent banks.

Fast, reliable, simple-to-use technology is business-critical for SMEs and PSPs, many of whom expect, and increasingly demand real-time services.

Focus on better client experience

BFC Bank is entirely focused on helping its clients conduct business effectively and efficiently. Online banking services enable clients to work when and how they choose, while BFC Bank also provides superior customer services in the form of a dedicated client relationship management team.

Current accounts

A current account allows instant access to real-time balances and transaction information in up to 20 currencies. Accounts can be included in BFC Bank's multi-currency pooling group, subject to approval. Clients can make and receive electronic payments internationally and undertake foreign exchange transactions.

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Transparent fees - clarity at last for SMEs and PSPs

Many Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and PSPs struggle to understand banking fees and FX charges. The difficulty in identifying the precise nature and breakdown of charges arises when banks are not transparent in how they charge clients and bundle costs.

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