When I was a student, I have 4 bank accounts. Originally I have a Maybank account, that was my primary and only account since I was 6, I think. In school, I got a scholarship after my dad retired, so I had to open a BSN account. This is good, as KPM Matriculation also used BSN to give out their semi-annual scholarship.
During this time, I opened an ASB account, so I could keep my savings in a hard-to-withdraw account. My sister, deposited money for me, for my savings. How grateful I am, since this had saved both of us later.
The good thing is, I could spread out my money and limit my spending in the process. Living in a boring (Cik PMS yang cakap) Labuan helps, nevertheless.
Everytime my loan got deposited into my BBCB account, I would spread the money (what’s left of it after paying my study fees.) RM500 into ASB, RM700 into Maybank, RM500 into BBCB and 300 into BSN. As you can see, Maybank is my primary account, BBCB is my secondary, and BSN as a backup. ASB acts as a worse-come-to-worse-cum-savings choice (both for me and my sister, it seems).
I would love to spread my salary in the same fashion. But it would be hard to be done in the multiple-bank-account style. And doing my monthly budget, I came out with an idea.
What if, there’s a bank account, that can be segmented, or contain sub-accounts? What if, there’s a bank account, that enables the customer to customize the accounts; subdividing into smaller accounts, setting preferences, setting limitations, and a whole lot more, anytime you please?
Think of it like the hard disk of our computer, only more customisable.
The idea is, to have an account, that can be segmented into smaller sub-accounts, and may have several profiles attached to them. These sub-accounts are optional, and done by the customer. If the customer prefer the one-big-account-for-all style, then don’t create any sub-accounts.
Imagine you have an account with RM1000 in it. You have 4 sub-accounts for savings, emergencies, petrol expenses, and daily expenses. From the RM1000, you distribute it into 200, RM100, RM200 and RM500 respectively.
To add more control over the account and yourself, you set the savings account only to be allowed over the counter (OTC) withdrawal, or limited ATM withdrawal, similar to what Maybank is doing. This would make you think twice, even more, when trying to withdrawing from that sub-account.
When withdrawing from the ATM, one is given a choice of sub-accounts to withdraw for. Similarly, certain account(s) can be associated to MEPS Cash, or similar services such as an e-Wallet. This will make certain you don’t touch the money you saved for your son’s college fund, for instance.
Now, I know this won’t be possible without some big, big modifications, especially on the database. The database must be flexible enough for users to add and remove sub accounts on their own, but robust enough to ensure everybody’s money is safe. Not to mention the modifications in ATM systems, and the whole bank account system.
That’s the main reason why many bank could not afford to change their system, not because of the cost to install, but the cost in case something goes wrong. Even our own homegrown Maybank have BILLIONS of accounts and customers (according to a trustworthy source), what would be of bigger international banks?
But, wouldn’t it nice, if we have more control over our own accounts, to mix and match, and not just to be able to select from pre-packaged …err… packages. This has already be the motto of Celcom, although Celcom users still need to rely on predetermined plans. Fast foods like Burger King and McDonalds have done it in their menus, while KFC just put a little bit of everything in one bucket.
It’s just an idea, for now. Anybody think this is possible? Or is it otherwise? What are the odds?