Blog article
See all stories ยป

It's banking Jim, but not as we know it

Wells Fargo's Guided by History blog has unearthed a great architectural curio from the early 1970s. To celebrate its centennial year in 1972, NorthWest National Bank created and staffed a space age 'Future Bank', which was intended to give customers a peek at banking in the 21st century.

Future Bank tellers were dressed like extras from Star Trek and customers were invited to try a number of far-out automated banking systems, including video phones and TV teller stations that promised "mechanical efficiency with a personal touch". Documents were passed back and forth through a series of pneumatic tubes.

Most of the customers - and banking staff - who tried it thought it would never catch on. One bank executive declined to use the Future Bank at all, saying, "I don't push buttons."

A former Future Bank team member tells Wells' History blogger Bill Taylor: "Our opinion of it at the time was that no way would this sort of banking ever exist. Boy, were we wrong!!!"

Which made me think: What would your Future Bank look like? Given that we're looking some 35 years down the line, I think I can safely predict (without fear of ridicule by some future blogger in 2044) that the retail bank of the future will be nothing more than a series of atomised widgets, self-selected from some giant 'utility banking' app store on the InterWeb. Oh yes, and pigs will have been genetically re-engineered to sprout wings.

4222

Comments: (1)

Sriram Natarajan
Sriram Natarajan - Credit Risk Fraud Cards Professional - Gurgaon 05 July, 2009, 06:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Well, I can safely predict that many of the banks in 2044 will be government owned,trading in exotic electronic virtual products and going to the virtual central bank for a bailout.

Paul Penrose

Paul Penrose

Head of Research

Finextra

Member since

06 Oct 2006

Location

London

Blog posts

307

Comments

249

More from Paul

Blog post

ANZ and Visa lose the plot

Blog post

Now we are ten

Blog post

Finextra's Best of the Web

This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Finance 2.0

A community for discussing the application of Web 2.0 technologies to financial services.


See all

Now hiring