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Five ways banking of the future will really differ

As digital technologies continue to reshape financial services, the question of how banks will operate in the future is a hot topic - but, like all crystal ball gazing, it's terribly difficult to get right. There are so many outlets making predictions these days it's inevitable a lot will be off the mark.

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Personally I think banking in the future will look largely similar to today with a few big changes. Here's why.

" Banks can stay relevant by maintaining trust with customers."
Peter Dalton, General Manager Digital Solutions, Global Wealth & Group General Manager Innovation at ANZ

If you look back 10 years, apart from the mobile revolution and internet banking, banks are still pretty much the same. Customers still need home loans and still use credit cards and ATMs.

Changes to the industry move slow because of size, regulation and customers being comfortable with existing ways – and many of today's solutions still work well.

Looking ahead, I think the core roles of banks will remain largely the same, in terms of taking care of money, lending and facilitating investment. But much will be very different. Here are the five areas I think we will see big changes.

DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

  • There will be a continued shift away from branches into digital and self-service offerings. There'll be much less signing forms and more agreements 'on glass' using digital tools.There will certainly be more digital solutions enabling access to a wider range of products than today, enabling people to better manage their finances from their first bank account all the way through to their home and retirement savings.

  • The role of a bank's brand will also continue to evolve to a place customers can trust and go for help or advice.

    When customers are thinking about insurance or investing but don't know where to begin, they can speak with a specialist in person using video conferencing or come in to a branch that may not look too different from your modern retail store where you can sit down, chat to someone and try out calculators and other tools just as easily as you can do online.
  • Personalisation will become more important. A key part of the future of banks relies on the sector maintaining its relevance to customers.

    Banks can stay relevant by maintaining trust and providing more personalised insights, services or support through the different stages of life as customers need them.

    Wealth management is an important part of this, helping customers who want to invest with the technical capability or tools plus the knowhow and support they need to improve their financial future.
  • Innovation will continue in the payment space. Cash may recede in the short term but won't entirely disappear until somebody comes up with a more reliable, convenient and scalable solution.

    Increasingly, we'll see mobile banking functions like Tap N' Pay replacing plastic cards because they are convenient, simple and have mass reach. But behind those accounts there is still a credit or debit card issued by a bank, linked to money in an account, held by the organisation you trust.

  • Finally, I think the banks of the future that thrive will do a lot more around building people's confidence with money and financial literacy – helping people understand how much they can save or borrow for example.

    If you use any of the new health and fitness apps on a wearable device like an Apple Watch or Fitbit, you can see how a little data can go a long way in changing behaviour.

 

Providing great digital solutions with personalised insights and advice to help people not only spend for today but really understand and better manage their money and build a more secure financial future for tomorrow – this is the future of banking.

The momentum in the financial industry is exciting – innovation certainly hasn't run out of steam and there's still a lot we can do for customers today, plus the generations to come, who want a stronger financial future.

Peter Dalton is General Manager Digital Solutions, Global Wealth & Group General Manager Innovation at ANZ

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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