Technology has revolutionized the way we interact, the way we transact, the way we communicate and has permeated into every other facet of our lives. It has rattled up and disrupted many business models beyond recognition and has forced business leaders to wake up and redefine the way they engage with their customers.
Banking, is by far, one of the most impacted business, some out of choice, but many out of force. As technology advances, poetry declines, so goes the saying. And this rings true for banking. If one notices, the area of interaction between banks and their customers has been shrinking consistently over the past decade.
Initially, it was more physical with customers’ walking into the branch, chatting with branch officials, spending some quality time in conversation or even dropping off to sleep waiting for their turn at the teller!! The interaction was more person oriented, and he had to devote his complete presence at the branch.
With a few technical advancements, the ATM machines and kiosks were introduced. Even though the physical trudging to the branch/ATM location was present, the personal touch was removed. Now, the customer had to deal with faceless machines that churned out cash and receipts at the press of a button. The poetry had started declining from here.
Then came the online revolution, where banking meant the static rumble of a modem connecting to the internet, the browser opening up the login page (sometimes which took ages) and adding beneficiaries and OTP and other technical activities unrelated to banking. Note how the physical movement has been completely obliterated, i.e. if you don’t count the steps taken from your living room to the computer terminal!! New terms were defined like Beneficiary, OTP, Second Factor Authentication etc. The poetry was completely killed with terminologies!!
The latest assault has come in the way of mobile banking, where the bank has entered into each one’s hands with flashy apps and embeddable widgets. No need to even make that pilgrimage to your laptop or that desktop!! Now, you can transact even while driving a car!!
The future looks more modular with advent of IOT, where each and every element would be capable of connecting and communicating with each other. Wearables like Google Glass, iPhone watch herald this. Banking would cease to be a separate activity and it would be interconnected with everything we do. Each conversation we have has a potential to embed banking transactions, be it while partying with friends, or while watching TV or riding a taxi. Wherever there are fund transfers involved, banking would be present in an unobtrusive way. Classic example would be Uber payment’s experience as of today. Banks are going to the customers rather than customers going to the banks.
After IOT, what NEXT? Well, we could see world moving towards Embeddables from Wearables. The day is not far off when each customer would be embedded with a microchip which can be controlled by gestures and thought, something similar to telepathy of yore. Who knows for sure, that in future embeddables might be overtaken by Injectibles, where next time you visit your branch for account opening, you might be injected with systems that would help transacting with the bank. Be ready to open your account by answering a simple question like “What’s your blood group Sir? We need it to match it with our injectable systems!!”