When experts talk about the future of technology, they bring up mobile banking and the banking industry a lot. What they often forget to mention is how their predictions might affect branch banking. Refreshingly, when World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck unpacked the future of mobile banking earlier this year, he took time to explore the way branch banking may change in the near future.
What are the biggest trends in mobile banking right now?
According to Goldstuck, the main way people access banking in the future will be through smart phones and tablets.
“At the end of 2013,” he said, “the number of smart phones in use in South Africa was 16million – almost a third of the countries’ population.”
He expected that number to increase by at least two million people in 2014. That may be good news for mobile banking, but what does it mean for bankers working in offices, call centres and branches?
Mobile Banking Is Not The End Of Branches. Instead, It Means Some Interesting Changes Are On The Way:
Banks will be retailers: For branches to become easier to use than before, they will need to be more accessible. In the future, banks will move into retail spaces and operate during normal retail hours. Bankers will still sell products and services that support customers’ banking needs, but there will be a focus on new technology.
Banking for children: In the past, banks would wait for clients to come to them. In the future, branches will include new ways of educating children about financial concepts from a young age, teaching them about money and saving.
Gamifying banks: New customers usually walk into a bank without a clear understanding of how the branch really works. This usually means bankers have to walk each new customer through the same processes repeatedly. Goldstuck suggests that banks will soon be able to communicate how banks work to customers through gamifying technologies. These apps or services will expand on marketing, explaining new products and services and giving bankers more time to get things done in the branch.
Technology Is Going To Play An Important Role In The Future Of Banking, But How Does A Busy Banker Keep Up With All The New Developments In The World Of Mobile Banking?
Keeping up to date with the future of the banking industry means knowing what changes are coming in the tech world too. If you are interested in learning more about mobile banking and mobile technology in South Africa and abroad, you may want to check out some of the reports published online.
Stats SA’s General Household Survey 2014 covers mobile use and internet access throughout the country.
Accenture also published its Mobility Research 2015 report this year, which includes a look at mobile usage in the country this year and how it might affect businesses.
Of course, if you are looking for something a little less dense, the Cornerstone Banking Blog provides ongoing updates on new developments in the banking industry and offers some advice on how best to tackle them.