As we begin the new year, what better time to reflect on the developments in banking in 2013 and what we can expect to see this coming year...
More mobility in banking
Anywhere, anytime banking was a key focus in 2013 and the next twelve months will see more mobility being introduced across the sector. Looking at the developments in consumer technology, it is clear that individuals are demanding more mobility in their
day-to-day lives. Google Glass and the iPad Air are just a few examples of how hardware is getting to a level of sophistication that requires more advanced applications. And this is an area in which the banking industry should look to develop and produce new
mobile services for those customers already invested in the technology.
Electronic billing to take off
The use of paper will begin to decrease steadily in the coming years. Bills will increasingly be electronic, reducing some of the overheads for banks as they can implement more efficient electronic services that are easier to manage. Despite being available
for some time, eBilling still only accounts for 20 percent of bills. We believe 2014 is set to be the year when eBilling will really take off, driven by the consumer adoption of technology.
Rise of real-time payments (in the cloud)
As consumers continue to become reliant and more accepting of electronic services, we will see more transactions carried out in the cloud, as more banks start to host their websites on external servers. The infrastructure of the cloud will give them flexibility
to upscale on demand.
Among the drivers for this move are banks in emerging / developing economies that have fewer legacy technologies, essentially making them more nimble. As such, these banks can create and roll-out projects far quicker. We expect to see some really innovative
developments coming from regions like the Middle East, which is already embracing mobile banking and real-time payments.
The (eventual) departure of cheques
Cash will remain king for now in terms of the volume of transactions undertaken with it. But for the chequebook, it’s a different story. Many retailers have already stopped taking cheques in some markets and for recent generations (e.g. millennials), they
are simply a payment method people cannot or do not access. As mobile increases, along with alternative forms of payments (such as Faster Payments in the UK), we feel the use of cheques will become increasingly niche.
Retail banking and beyond
As retailers have gained newfound control over making their own payment decisions, more retail banks will be able to make efforts to own their customer data, using it in ways that encourage loyal and repeat consumer engagement.
And finally, in terms of the global banking transaction market, the end of quantitative easing will play a vital role. Liquidity will be crucial and the aforementioned concept of cash being king will play a big role for those banks, but only those banks
able to use their funds wisely.