Banks have helped customers to connect since ancient times. Credit payments, card payments, letters of credit, collections, bank guarantees, securities transactions, project financing etc. This all benefited from and created new much needed
economy of trust, scale and scope. An even exponential positive spiral..
Gradually these traditional "connecting services" have become more valuable as payment data and account statements have added business, accounting automating information, risk mitigation and financing in many forms.
The 3.0 stage started when progressive banks started to connect customers much deeper by letting them use the e-bank id-tools when strong identification and document signing was needed by 3rd parties. The public sector was an important user
of these services already in the 90s in Finland. Saving both tax payers money and nerves - big time...
The next 3.0 phase was e-invoicing - interconnecting customers and their accounting with much richer data than before. Enabling new ways to automate also invoice financing with reverse factoring connecting customers closely with unusually high win-win elements.
The obvious next step is to also support the SME-sector with e-orders - both in and out - to achieve both automated real time accounting and cash flow forcasts.
This was followed by e-salary - integrating the salary payment information into the account statement of the receiver.
All this takes undersstanding customers needs - before they do it - and security,
standardisation efforts and 4-cornermodels - very important aspects also for the Block Chain phase - a true quantum leap.