Opening an Up Bank account – A first impression

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Opening an Up Bank account | Neobanks

Opening an Up Bank account was going to be the most interesting of them all because it’s the only one of the lot that’s actually a bank account. I had also heard a lot of good things about their sign up process and the fact that you’re able to sign up for an account in under 3 minutes.

Up Bank: Focus on buckets and spare change

By now we have come to expect certain features from neobanks. I continue to not understandthe fascination for cool looking debit cards but here we are. Up Bank apparently have a pink one, which is really cool and clearly a must have banking feature.

In terms of banking features, Up bank allows the user to open multiple accounts within the main account. The idea is to have separate buckets from your expenses, with each bucket being an individual account. And like everyone else, Up bank also offers spare change roundups.

Opening an Up Bank account

Opening an Up Bank: Not a 3 minute process

And it absolutely should have been. The first few steps were very straightforward – Phone number, verify phone number, enter name, address, date of birth and email address. And then, for some reason, after confirming that I was employed, Up Bank asked me what my current role was. I got stuck here forever.

Opening an Up Bank Account

And this is when you realise that no matter how many pink debits cards, flashy websites and GIFs you might add in your app, Up Bank behaves like any other bank.

Opening an Up Bank account: Not for those with tech/web jobs

Banks and insurance companies have a predefined set of roles. And this list hasn’t been updated since 1992. As a result, tech jobs don’t exist on this list – No Product Manager, no UX Designer, no Growth Marketer, no SEO Content Marketer, no Tech Lead, no Mobile App Developer.

Basically none of the roles of the people that made the app made it into the list. I finally settled on ‘ICT Project Manager’ – the only tech role (other than ‘Programmer’) that banks and insurance companies understand. And Up Bank might be mobile app-first but their systems are bank-first.

Opening an Up Bank account: Finally got there

Opening an Up bank account

It took closing in on 10 minutes to finally get there but I managed. There was a twinge of uncertainty when I swore that the information I was providing was correct and accurate even though my role wasn’t but what’s life without a little excitement.

The dashboard was what I expected it to be – Clean, clutter-free with the important, relevant information in-focus, front and centre. There are half a dozen screens right now that include Settings, payments, schedules payments and the different saver accounts, all of which are, as to-be-expected, empty at the moment.

While this wasn’t exactly like the poor first impression with Xinja when I realised they didn’t have an Android app, Up Bank’s clumsy sign-up process didn’t provide an ideal start to the banking experience. But now that the hard part’s done, I’m hoping everything else should be pretty smooth from here.

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