The first two decades of the twenty-first century have seen the world change in many ways, thanks largely to rapid technological advances and the increasing popularity of social media platforms. The way we communicate, work, shop and learn has been transformed completely, bringing both challenges and opportunities. Whether this is for bad or good is for each individual to decide, but what is inescapable is that big businesses in all sectors have had to adapt to survive. The world of finance recognizes this too, and the smartest banks are those who are embracing this brave new world.
Making It Easy To Bank
There is ever increasing competition in the world of banking, and names that have been familiar for many decades now find themselves under pressure from new entrants in the banking sector. The key to surviving and thriving for banks in the 21st century is to make it as easy as possible for customers to handle their finances when using them. A recent survey announced TD Bank as the best bank nationally, and one reason for their continued success is that they allow customers to access their accounts via the phone, internet, or a mobile device 24 hours a day. In contrast to some other banks in recent years, they are also committed to keeping as many bricks and mortar branches open as possible, which can be a financial lifeline to customers in remote communities.
Embracing New Technology
It would now be unthinkable for a major bank not to offer free online banking, and yet just a few years ago this was considered a revolution in the banking world. Whilst the first online banking website was created by the Stanford Credit Union in 1994, it took many years for it to catch on universally. Now, as then, smart banks are at the forefront of the use of new technology, and one way in which this can be seen today is the adoption of video banking. Many customers still like to talk to bank officials face to face, and video chat allows them to do just that from the convenience of their own home.
Opening Up To Blockchain Tech
One of the most obvious challenges to traditional banking is Bitcoin and other blockchain powered cryptocurrencies. Whilst there have been downward blips, the overall picture for Bitcoin is overwhelmingly upwards, and many people are now preferring to use these currencies over long-established national currencies. Whilst some banks look upon this with dismay, or even disdain, a few leading banks are recognizing that cryptocurrency is here to stay and that they will have to work with these currencies rather than standing against them. A sign of this is the appearance of Bitcoin in regulated currency exchanges, and it’s a story that’s still in its infancy.
To cope with this ever-changing world, the best banks have to be both traditional and flexible. That means keeping high street branches open whilst at the same time allowing customers to use new technology such as video chat to contact them. It also means that banks will have to engage more fully with cryptocurrencies, and this will undoubtedly have a large, and as yet unforeseen, impact on both the banks and the likes of Bitcoin.