To illustrate changing paradigms and customer expectations in the digital age I often ask classes I am training, “If you opened an account with a bank for the first time, how long should it take?”

The acceptable time period for a new customer to have a fully transactional account varies widely. Most say a few hours, some are happy with a day. Occasionally someone says 15 minutes.

I normally follow up the question with, “Has anyone opened a new account recently and how long did it take?”.

The responses to this question are normally horror stories regaling the gory details of terrible client experiences (regardless of bank). Occasionally someone has had a reasonable experience that lasted a few hours. I’ve never had anyone who was ‘delighted’ with the experience of opening a new account.

Without fail, everyone in the training room is surprised when I tell them that Tyme Bank is opening and they are promising a fully FICAed transactional account in 2 minutes using a biometric kiosk in grocery stores.

I have been using this example for the better part of two years. Tyme Bank were supposed to launch about a year ago but finally launched at the beginning of November. It was a nice hypothetical example until I spotted the Tyme Bank kiosk in Rosebank Pick n Pay yesterday.

I had two minutes to spare and decided to put them to the test. The longest part of the process was typing in my physical address. Two thumbprints later (that zoomed off to Home Affairs and verified that I am who I am and I live where I live) and I had a freshly printed card to fatten up my wallet.

After a brisk walk back to my desk I hit the internet. Instead of checking my social media notifications, I logged straight into internet banking and successfully transferred R10 into my new Tyme account.

A fully FICAed transactional account in 120 seconds – TICK! I rarely get excited about banking or banking products but this was impressive. If you have better typing skills than mine, I reckon 60 seconds might be possible (perhaps a challenge out there for someone to break the world record for opening a new bank account!).

Exciting times in the banking industry – especially with other innovators and disrupters about to enter the market and shake things up. I’m sure that this will lift the standard of all the banks which is good news for the consumer. And good consumer news is rare these days – even rarer than banks that are able to delight their customers!

Disclaimer: I have no connection to Tyme Bank nor do I own any shares in their company. As far as I know I don’t even know anyone who works there. This is not a sponsored post (in fact I paid R10 of my own money into their bank account).