Banks. We all need them. We all use them. We might not all love them. Those of you reading this of a certain age will remember banks perhaps with misty-eyed fondness. The local branch was at the heart of the community. The branch manager a local celebrity.
Then over the years the march of technology became unstoppable. Banks had to adapt. Do you remember the introduction of ATM machines for example? That was the beginning of the end for cheques.
As technology has continued to advance, the banks make more changes. The rise of online banking and the use of banking apps mean that we can take care of most of our banking needs online without the need to go in to the local branch.
That in turn has led to the closure of many branches up and down the country leaving some towns and villages without any face-to-face banking facilities at all.
Now, whilst technology can be a wonderful thing it can be very hard to keep up with the speed of technological advancement. The banks are no exception to this.
Do you remember the NatWest meltdown a few years ago when their systems went in to a tailspin which took days to set right and inconvenienced personal and business users alike until it was eventually sorted out.
There have been a number of other similar instances since as bank systems crash for one reason or another.
A major cause of these outages is the out of date technology which many banks rely on. Often their systems are old. They cannot cope with modern demands and are prone to failure. When that failure comes, what a hassle, right?
The banking system needs cutting edge, up to date technology to operate efficiently and securely. But that costs money. A fine line for the banks to walk. It would be a huge investment in both time and money for banks to upgrade the old, creaking computer system.
Could this mean the end of the line for the traditional banking institutions? It might just. Why? Because a new breed of bank is starting to emerge which is based on cutting edge technology.
The likes of Atom Bank and Mondo are in their infancy. These new banks on the block are the fresh-faced newbies building themselves “from the ground up” using all the modern tech for the mobile generation.
No branches. All online, all via a smartphone app. They are even talking about a “selfie” for identity verification. How trendy is that?
A wholly online banking experience by smartphone app might not be for everyone. The need for a “bricks and mortar” bank is always going to exist for some people. But with the ever-moving advancements in technology and the new market entrants offering something a little different we suggest that the big names on the financial High Street will need to up their games.
What do you think? Comment on this post to let us know.