The Competition and Markets Authority have outlined the main problems that freelancers currently faced on a day to day basis when trying to do their banking, with the vast majority of issues coming online.
With this in mind, the report has called very strongly to all the national banks to offer more internet and mobile facilities that will help freelancers save time.
Sure, banking technology has come a long way in recent years, but there is so much more that can be done in my opinion, especially when it comes to business banking.
I definitely get the feeling that many of the high street banks are not doing enough to bring the best possible service to business customers, and this needs to change quickly.
It seems that freelancers agree. Of all those surveyed for the report by The Competition and Markets Authority, around 65% said they want better banking. It's as simple as that banks...either take notice or start losing customers.
One of the main issues among freelancers seems to be the need for linking their bank service with software they use on a daily basis for their business. For example, apps are becoming very popular right now, with things like accounting software being simple to use via an app on a laptop or tablet. Having the ability to link a bank account to one of these apps would be a huge time saver.
While all of this sounds good, I think many of the banks will be slow to bring in new technology, mainly because they generally don't like change, and only do things when they absolutely have to. It's going to take one of the banks to lead the way, and then once this happens, all of them will follow suit so they don't miss out. Who will be the first one though? It remains to be seen.
Another important issue raised in the report is the requirement for banks to be more transparent about their fees and charges, so freelancers can easily see if their current provider is the best choice, or if switching banks would be the best idea.
The vast majority of banks like to hide details of fees and charges in the small print, and it's not always clear exactly how much freelancers are expected to pay on a monthly basis.
Sometimes it can be different every month. In my opinion they should take it one step further and cap fees so freelancers and the self employed in general don't end up with a huge bill at the end of the month.
Bank charges really do get out of control, and in the vast majority of cases this just isn't right and is totally unnecessary.
To sum up: freelancers want the change, but it might be a while until real action is taken. In the meantime, you will just have to keep running your business and make the best out of the situation.
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