Today, almost all retail banks have their own applications for smart phones. However, I believe that digital banking will continue beyond that. We can already see similar trends in other industries. These opportunities can help support branch productivity, customer analytics and much more.
Your Phone = Your Wallet
Soon enough, you will not have debit and credit cards in your wallet. We already tap to pay with NFC chips in Android phones – for the past two years. By the end of this year, Android b ank apps should let us tap and pay too. The early adopters are already putting it to use in Australia and New Zealand. Of course, Apple is on it too. Apple Pay consists of tapping your phone and then swiping your fingerprint to authenticate. However, this
aspect also makes Apple a competitor of banks.
This is just the beginning too. Businesses will release their own apps that let you ‘store’ your information in your phone and then tap to pay just like the Google wallet. The pre-paid card industry will switch to virtual cards. Italy and South America, the leaders of pre-paid will lead the way for us.
Now, let’s think beyond tapping. What about adopting collecting points or spotting matching visuals? There are experiments going on that will have apps reward users with points when they explore new services and even unlock in-app levels. This will encourage regular engagement, driving down the need for branch based banking with is a huge cost.
Banks will have to go beyond just retail banking. Something that I am personally looking forward to are international money transfers. Western Union and Money gram currently dominate this global industry. However, there are online players such as Xendpay, Xoom and Transfer Wise. By adding this to their banking app, they can acquire new customers with a targeted money transfer app. P2P transfers, bill payments, share trading, pension management and more are some other options as well.
Something else that will easily come are location or activity based services and offers. Think about being at home, logged into your bank account and you’ve paid a few pills. Next thing you know, you’re offered to face time with a relationship management or have an online financial health check.
Most of what I presented is not new. Banks are smart and they are looking at other industries like retail, gambling, gaming, news and entertainment and realizing that they should be doing the same things. This is only the beginning – our banks are revolutionizing themselves.