Can these customers rest assured that they are getting the help they need? (So far, no start-up has asked him for advice.)
The question is borne out by a fairly recent story.
Robinhood’s trading platform and messaging system collapsed as the markets fluctuated earlier this year. When it broke certain trades altogether during the GameStop saga, users were angry at the lack of responses.
Dozens of lawsuits followed, as well as a series of investigations, including the largest fine the financial industry regulator has ever imposed. During a congressional hearing in February, a lawmaker called Robinhood’s automated hotline – and received a recorded message asking them to send an email. (The company has vowed to improve their customer service.)
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the creation of these start-ups is the completely different way in which they present themselves to the world for the first time. Some have taken their cues from yesteryear digital banking startups like Ally and incorporated concepts into their branding, with names like Aspiration and, more provocatively, Revolut.
Then there is Dave and the Boys, a trend that started years ago with Charles Schwab and the digital bank that offers it, as part of low-cost brokerage services. It advised anyone who would listen to “Talk to Chuck”.
Goldman Sachs, with all its riches, could have bought almost any URL. It chose Marcus after Marcus Goldman (bad luck, Samuel Sachs) when the quintessential Wall Street bank tried to put a friendly face to a new retail business.
Another app, Albert, offers a standard debit card offering as well as a service called “Albert Genius,” which the company says is run by a team of human financial experts. (By the way, Dave Davies’ legal first name is Albert.)