Without first addressing the other 3 issues to some degrees, even it’s a free service, I’d refrain from using it. There’s other free (freemium) platforms suffering from some of the same issues, and some additional problems too, such as bad practices in advertising and marketing (encourage inresponsible treading, hidden forex costs, etc.), and I’ve chose to not use them. Cost is an important factor, but not the only factor. High costs will put me off for certain, but lower cost (even free) doesn’t automatically make me to choose it over other low cost platforms.
Also, let’s not compare Dozens to the flat fees platforms, because iWeb’s £25 account opening, £0 custody, £5 commission is really hard to beat. After the first year you would have to make 12 trades in a year to break even with £60/year on the Dozens Black, very unlikely to happen for an annually rebalanced buy and hold portfolio consist of a handful of funds.
I’ll be honest with you. No, I’m not using any other feature at the moment.
But please take into consideration that I’m not the regular type of customer any bank or fintech company would have expected. I regularly switched my non-main current accounts for the free cash (until they stopped offering it), frequently moved savings around for better interest rate, and never renewed an insurance policy or mobile contracts without comparing the price first.
So, yes, I do tend to go where the market leads, but it’s not the whole picture. For an example, I’ve kept my main current account with the same bank when I’m fully aware that their service is very bad, in fact a lot worse than my other current accounts used for getting the switching bonus. Why do I keep using it as my main current account? It’s only because their fraud detection system is less sensitive (or more accurate? or just doesn’t work most of the time? I don’t know), so I can move very large sums without triggering it. Try move £20,000 from some fintech banks in one go? I’m sure your transaction will get blocked, and if you are unlucky you may even get locked out of your account for hours or days. Definitely not something I’d like to try.
Let’s go back to Dozens. The bonds is a marketing cost. It will bring onboard some average users, but unavoidably attract some people like me. This doesn’t make it a bad marketing strategy, just need to ensure the cost of marketing is justified by the amount of engaged and retained users. AFAIK, so far they’ve managed to keep the balance in check by utilizing the bond bidding process.
I guess the real question is, does Dozens want to convert the not-so-average users to regular customers? or just let them gradually and naturally leave when the bond is becoming increasingly harder to bid for larger sums?
Remind you, the not-so-average users need bank accounts and debit cards too. They just have a different need, and often falling through the cracks of main stream products, and ends up using some unpopular products that looks pretty bad in average users’ eyes. However, do those products really need to look bad in average users’ eyes? I doubt about it. For example, if a bank would allow me to temporarily turn off the fraud detection system for one specific transaction without the need of back and forth explaining and reassuring to the bank that I know what I’m doing and having to listen five minutes long warnings and answer tons of security questions from the tired and bored customer service lady/gentleman over the phone, I will definitely consider move my main current account to it.
BTW, another reason I’m not using the rest of the app is I often find it too cluttered. Currently there’s way too much not-so-important information, and way too many interactive elements on most pages. Yet some important information, such as my total account balance, or the total value of all my bonds, are hard to find. Some clean up and rework of the app’s UI is definitely needed. I consider myself a tech savvy person, and it took me a good few minutes to figure out how to bid on the bonds on the day I opened my account. I quite like the Curve app’s design, it took me no time to figure out how to add my first card, a single big blank card with a big “+” sign on it and a short description right below it, all of that on a otherwise pretty much empty page is very hard to miss. After I started to use it, other UI elements gradually showed up as I use (Timeline and Wallet were empty with just a description of them before the first transaction is made, Send was a short description and a big button to turn it on before first use, etc.), so I’m not overwhelmed by the complexity of it on the first day. I’m sure there’s something Dozens can learn from the Curve’s design.