6th November 2015

Brave new world: how technology is changing digital banking

Written by Emily Hoquee, freelance financial copywriter

I spent yesterday morning at the BBA’s Digital Banking Conference, and was fascinated to learn about the latest exciting developments in FinTech. Chris Skinner, Chairman of the Financial Services Club, opened the conference by delivering a keynote speech on what banks need to know – and do – about FinTech.

Mr Skinner said that London is the “hottest area” for FinTech and explained that mobile technology is connecting people in real time globally. Notably, many African states and other emerging economies are increasingly adopting mobile phone technology and this is changing the way people buy and sell goods and services.

Next, Edward Twiddy, Chief Information Officer, Atom Bank, Raymond Pettitt, ‎Managing Director of Community Banking, Barclays, and Greg Heaton, Divisional Director of Nationwide’s Branch Network, held a thought provoking discussion about the business case for having physical bank branches. Mr Pettitt told delegates that he believes bank branches can remain relevant if they act as a financial guide, and have a presence in the community.

Glyn Knaresborough, Senior Managing Partner at conference sponsor CSC, described the pace of change in digital banking as “staggering”. Interestingly, he said that today’s digital revolution is no different to any other revolution that has come before, including the Industrial Revolution. Every revolution has its own patterns and market disruptors.

Jonathan Webster, Chief Information Officer for Group Digital at Lloyds Banking Group, set out how firms can transform their customers’ journey. Mr Webster stressed that customer journey transformation is about people and behaviour change, not technology. He said firms need to change their ways of working to be responsive to their customers, and to experiment.

Chris Popple, Managing Director of Digitisation at RBS, shared some of the exciting tech developments that NatWest has been working on. Dubbed “Project Living”, the bank has developed three very different apps that help customers to save money, monitor and “gamify” their spending habits, and help with moving house.

Tom Blomfield, CEO of Mondo, set out how his company wants to help customers by offering a high-tech, seamless app that uses geolocation and keywords to tag expenses and keep a track of funds coming in and out of an account. Customers using the Mondo app will even be able, if they choose to, share their banking data with price comparison websites and be offered the best deal for them.

Today’s developments may sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but in fact this technology is very real and coming to a smartphone or tablet near you soon. The popularity of digital banking shows no sign of waning, and customers are keen to harness its benefits and use them to make managing their day-to-day finances easier.

You can find out more about new ways to bank in our report World of Change, which is available to download from our website.

 

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