Neither could I.
Last year, I became the founding editor of BostInnovation.com — a Boston-area start-up and tech culture blog that’s still rocking and rolling. That publication has been pushing daily content since December, and has covered hundreds of new and successful companies in New England. To date, I’ve written over 200 articles for it. Each of those write-ups involved phone calls, meetings and interviews with people from all sectors of business — I have a fantastic view of the landscape, of the businesses that are growing and succeeding during the recession.
Among all those companies and all those successful people, I couldn’t help but join the staff at PerkStreet Financial when the opportunity arose. Here’s why:
Back in May of this year, I heard about PerkStreet from a prominent member of Boston’s business community. Dave Balter, the CEO of the cutting-edge word-of-mouth marketing company BzzAgent, mentioned it during a phone call I had with him. “You’ve gotta check out this company PerkStreet Financial,” he said. So I did.
What I found was an institution I absolutely had to register for an account with. Outside of the awesome cash-back perks, superb convenience and stunning focus on customer service, I was drawn to PerkStreet for it’s forward-thinking approach to the business of banking. I haven’t talked to a bank teller face-to-face in eight years. Why was I paying my bank to staff them and keep all those bank branches open that I never visited? It was time to switch to online banking without the branches. PerkStreet was for me; I could tell that on my first visit to the homepage.
I interviewed PerkStreet CEO Dan O’Malley that month and was totally impressed by the way he talked about banking. In the article that resulted, I quoted Dan as saying:
“Our whole mission for being is to fix banking. I think banking is broken right now. It was a little more audacious to say that two years ago when I started the company, but over the last 10 years, banks and their customers have been by-in-large on opposite ends of the table.
“Flash back fifty years, and your banker was someone you went to because you trusted them. You talked to them about what you could afford, and your local banker had an incentive to do something smart for you, because you would pay them back with your business. We’ve just gotten too far away from that.”
As I dug in a bit more, I realized it wasn’t just Dan who was out to “fix banking.” The whole team at PerkStreet is focused on creating an institution that truly helps its customers by speaking in plain English, providing the most value possible, and reducing fees whenever they can. My old bank (of America, eh hem) didn’t seem interested in helping me at all. In fact, it seemed bent on ripping me off at every turn. It wasn’t until I got Mint that I realized it, but that’s another story.
After a few months filled with more great personal experiences with the PerkStreet team, I signed on last week. I’ll be blogging like a maniac for PerkStreet Financial from now on.
Honestly, if you told me a year ago that I’d be working in financial services, I’d have told you to pound sand. But today, I couldn’t be more excited about joining the team at PerkStreet — as an insider, I can tell you it’s a truly incredible institution.
I want everyone to know what a great deal I’ve found here, and — more importantly — I want to tell you about all kinds of other personal finance options that are out there for you to take advantage of. Expect PerkStreet’s blog to have way more content in the next few months — and look for all of it to be aimed at you, the super smart spender. We want to share all kinds of advice and ideas with you: Ours, our friends’, other people’s.
It’s all part of the one thing we’re all pursuing here at PerkStreet — the thing that matters most to us in our careers as entrepreneurs and professionals: Fixing banking.
What do you think is the biggest problem with banking today? What can we do to fix it? Please let us know in the comments section below.