The Changing Face of Online Banking

Technology – as we know it – has taken over our lives and how we do our finances. We’ve written about How Tech Has Changed the Landscape of Money Transactions so significantly that we may not even realize how valuable things as omnipresent as ATMs are, because of the overshadowing of other continuous trends. We’ve seen the likes of more high tech developments such as contactless cards, to ever-convenient online bank transfers. Despite these advancements, there is still much room for improvement. This could explain why we continue to see new changes in online banking that have adapted to address the following challenges, thus revolutionizing the way things operate.

Here’s what we can already see from the changing face of online banking:

Neobanks

Neobanks are digital-only banks that have shed light on the convenience and ease of online banking––a logical fit in the digital age. These let you do basic banking tasks, manage your finances, and seek financial advice with the comfort of your mobile phone. Chime, which is based in San Francisco, has generated upwards of 2 million consumers, with more coming in every month. Data shows that they’re getting in more customers than established banks like Wells Fargo or Citibank. Neobanks like Chime have no hidden fees and simplify money management, which makes the process of banking more democratic for those who do not have secure or affordable access to financial services.

Sideways credit

Bad credit scores continue to haunt customers who wish to apply for credit cards. In many cases, these scores are unreliable for new-to-credit customers who are either young, in the lower-income bracket, immigrants or minorities. The system that has been established to assess creditworthiness should no longer be a reliable indicator of good or bad credit. Fintech startup Petal has launched a new type of credit card that utilizes machine learning and their own algorithms to analyze an applicant’s bank account and financial records. This is what the company means by sideways credit, and the Petal Card aims to accommodate this.

Chatbots

Conversational banking was born out of customers’ adeptness at using virtual assistants. Chatbots in banking are now powered by AI that can perform the same tasks that tellers do, from checking account balances to offering money-saving tips. Bank of America’s Erica helps customers pay debts and suggests personalized opportunities for money-making and saving through messages from their app. Chatbots have both emotional and contextual understanding, which will attract customers who are typically more reserved and hesitant to ask bankers questions face-to-face. They also answer questions in real-time, making banking services even more convenient, especially when you need an answer immediately.

Big Tech in Banking

Big tech giants have already started to dabble in the financial services industry. We’ve seen Apple launch its Apple Card in partnership with Goldman Sachs in 2019. These big tech companies have the guise of banks without actually becoming ones. While this new scheme is a way for them to make money and have access to their customers’ digital behavior, integration to digital wallets and existing social accounts has made everything that much more convenient. Many major players have started to follow suit in their own ways, from Facebook Pay and its consolidation of payment products to Uber Money and its digital wallets. We can expect to see Google’s collaboration with Citibank for consumer bank accounts in the latter part of the year as well.

There’s no telling what changes will come next. In the meantime, we can sit back and reap the benefits these innovations provide us. We can also expect that whatever other needs we have will soon be addressed, too. It’s only a matter of time. Are you curious to see what other industries are adapting to technology, and how they are doing it? Explore the rest of Techincidents for more.

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