Working in the banking sector during the first quarter of the 21st century is certainly exciting. If we stop to think about how we used to approach personal banking a couple of decades ago, it is safe to say that it has changed significantly, and it has done so largely to the benefit of retail account holders. Institutional banks such as this one have also transformed their operations substantially in recent years, and this has a lot to do with trends that shape the banking industry.
The most visible changes to the banking industry happen at the retail level, and they are influenced by regulatory, monetary, and technological trends. Let’s look at four trends that could define how we get our online banking done in the near future.
The parent company of the world’s most popular social networks is working on transforming the web into a virtual reality experience, which means that we may soon be able to access our online bank accounts through VR headsets. This is not going to be as complicated as it may sound to some people; it is mostly a matter of making sure VR headsets do not compromise existing security protocols. Developing the right VR user interfaces for personal banking should not be too difficult because Meta, Google, and other leaders are committed to providing API access and extensive programming libraries.
Smarter Virtual Assistants
Machine learning and natural language processing are artificial intelligence technologies that hold a lot of promise in terms of automating customer service processes that account holders can easily access at any time. Technology giants such as Google are rapidly advancing in this regard with applications such as Duo, which combine the best in speech recognition as well as text-to-speech synthesis. The goal is to make advanced chatbots commonplace on the websites and mobile apps that provide access to online banking services.
Dealing With Dynamic Providers of Personal Financial Services
Not everyone is interested in bank accounts anymore. Ever since digital payments companies such as PayPal started offering payroll direct deposit options, many people have completely turned their backs on banks. Without a doubt, this trend will continue to expand in 2022 and beyond unless retail banks are able to compete with the likes of PayPal, Venmo, and others. One of the best strategies in this regard is to simply partner with competitors. Walmart, for example, has been pretty successful with its Green Dot partnership. Something else that bankers need to understand is that these providers of financial services excel at developing user-friendly technologies.
Retail banks that are part of stock brokerage firms such as Fidelity have taken a chance on offering clients access to cryptocurrency trading. The future of this trend is up in the air because we know how volatile the cryptocurrency market is, but Fidelity is at an advantage in terms of getting an early start on implementing blockchain technology. Banking industry analysts are surprised that so many bankers are dragging their feet with regard to blockchain features such as smart contracts and distributed ledgers. These features, which seem to be tailor-made for the banking industry, deserve to be implemented for the benefit of account holders. Once central banks get serious about minting sovereign digital currencies, banks will pretty much be forced to implement blockchain technology.
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