Banking is rapidly undergoing shift because of technology. There is more software, more tools, more web-based features, and artificial intelligence too is crawling into our lives slowly but surely. Plenty of movies have already shown what the future could look like, but seems like we are living this future now in some form. Thank God we don’t have ATM cards literally being embedded in our wrists, the traditional plastic cards are being replaced by tools like UPI (Universal payment Interface) and virtual wallet – and so many other changes are occurring quite fast, literally.
Today, there are hundreds of different banks with their thousands of branches out there. There’s a bank on every block and because its protected with Government regulations, this is where we people keep our money in order to feel safe. People go into a bank, talk to a human teller, and make a transaction. They can also visit the ATM machine on the side of the bank to make a deposit, do a withdrawal, or a balance transfer. It’s relatively simple, and is semi-automated.
Imagine what it would be like if Google or another tech company took over all aspect of the banking / finance industry?
In the foreseeable future, there are likely going to be fewer branches or no branches at all. Why? The human element is most likely going to be removed with omnipresent DIY model being quick and convenient, case in point DBS DigiBank initiative is the first step towards such future. But, you may ask what about all those thousands of branches out there? Well, most of them will close down in the urban context but most importantly in the urban setting these branches will evolve into full-fledged CoWorking spaces with whole host of interesting benefits.
Today, there are more apps than we can actually download for all the services we need. For example, we have multiple apps in each of these categories:
– Bill payments
– Money transfers
This is because we have too many banks to choose from as well as too many startups seeing opportunities to disrupt every single service offered by banks today—the unbundling of the banking system is real and it’s accelerating. However, it can be daunting to try and sign up for all of these individual websites and apps. If Google or maybe Apple decides to truly embrace banking for the future, you can have access to all of the services you need under a single umbrella.
Imagine what it would be like if Google or another company took over all aspect of the banking/finance industry?
Google bundles everything so that you can pick and choose what you need while everything remains independent yet interconnected. Maybe Google Banking for businesses will also operate in a similar fashion. By login into your Google online banking app, that is built on top of new Google Bank operating system which is highly secure and maybe also uses its own blockchain technology; here you will have access to accounting and legal services, business insurance services, employee welfare and money management, startup business services, equity and commodity trading, money remittance, and many other things for seamless global business trading either built by Google or Google create a marketplace and developers builds these tools which will work seamlessly on its platform across different devices and interface. Maybe small banks will be part of this Google Banking ecosystem or die a slow death.
Google Banking for Individuals will work the same way. You can take advantage of money remittance, personal loans, money management, a new kind of healthcare savings accounts instead of health insurance, and everything else. You won’t have to sign up on countless websites just to get everything that you need. Instead, you will have one app, which will keep everything interconnected. For instance, you can see how much you have qualified for on your personal loan, and then use the money wisely, in the background Google Bank OS will help you spend just right because it’s your universal money management assistant, and everything else.
You can simplify the way that you manage your money, whether you are saving, investing, or trying to spend in a more budget friendly way. No matter what, everything will be connected, so you never have to worry about losing track of your funds.
I think this kind of open platform and network can lead to an array of new seamless options to businesses and individuals alike. The list can go on and on; anyone who wants to make improvements to their cash flow, obtain help with investments, or anything else just look for the necessary add-ons in this open banking platform.
From the India stand point, we may just see this happening sooner than we may think, one banking interface for all our business and personal banking requirement very similar to how payment is being organized under just one interface by National payment corporation of India (NPCI) – is the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India, with a vision to enable citizens of the country to have access to e-payment services at anyplace and anytime. Can you imagine something similar for banking—the National Banking Corporation Of India (NBCI)? A great example of this in shown below in the movie “HER” here the lead character Theodore interacts with highly intelligent Universal AI OS Samantha played by Scarlett Johansson. It’s a Love OS is the context of the movie, but we get the glimpse of what to expect as we move towards digital transformation of this industry.
The future of banking is looking exciting. Traditional banking and banks as we know today are going to be no longer relevant to us sooner than we think If one interface becomes a reality.