The age-old image of money stuffed under the mattress might still be accurate for some people but for the rest of society a more streamlined ‘digital’ approach to our finances has become the norm. We routinely log onto online banking via our laptops or tablets, or even download specific banking apps onto our mobile phones for ease of accessibility. We no longer have to make an appointment to see a bank manager if we wish to open a savings account – we can both apply and receive instant approval for many accounts at the click of a finger, with money readily deposited sooner than you can say ‘bank transfer’. It is staggering to think that only a few years ago, the simple act of paying bills or transferring money was only possible via a telephone call or by popping into the local post office. So when did online banking become the norm? What changed – and how has technology helped implement this ever-growing trend?
Technology and finance – a match made in Heaven
There is little doubt that technological advances have dramatically increased consumer access to online banking, as well as paving the way for easy, one click on-line purchasing. We have moved from using automated telephone banking to a much more efficient and user-friendly financial system, purely as a result of modern technology. It is fair to say that we live in an age of instant gratification and this is clearly reflected in our propensity for accessing our money from any location in the world at any time of the day or night and as often as we need to. The Internet is faster than ever before, 70% of UK consumers now own a smartphone or tablet and we spent a massive £10.1 Billion pounds shopping online in 2013 alone! What these trends indicate is that consumers want easy access to online services – be it banking, shopping or socializing – and, luckily, the banks have responded. Eager to entice customers, banks and building societies now offer a range of mobile apps designed to help make managing our money that little bit easier – and quicker. In fact, consumers can now change who they bank with without even leaving the house. Amazing.
The benefits of modern online banking
Well, aside from ease, efficiency and expediency, the benefits of technological advances in online banking are many. We can make quick, easy, Trans-Fast transfers whenever we need to. We can pay all of our bills at the click of a finger and we can buy everything we need to live simply by looking at a few websites. It is even possible to build a substantial financial portfolio without ever visiting a bank or building society in person. Of course, all of these advances beg the question, ‘what is the future of banking and technology?’ Well, the answer isn’t set in stone but some say that there will be greater cohesion between our Internet banking, mobile banking apps and our social media accounts. Whether this will happen sooner rather than later remains to be seen – but what is certain is that technology – and banking – show no signs of slowing down.