Ever since the 16th Century when Amsterdam’s trading and shipping cashiers began to charge customers for depositing their wealth, the evolution of banking has continued. Traditional banking has been an integral part of the way we do business, but just how much of a threat is digital banking to the traditional practices of operating and interacting with customers?
Digital banking has slowly crept into our everyday way of doing things. No longer do you need to go into a branch and queue to pay your utility bills, it can now be done from the comfort of your own home via online banking. You can transfer money easily and get an historical view of your transactions via your online account. Even if you are not at home, advances in technology now allow you to do your banking on the move. The implementation of mobile apps has allowed digital banking to grow. Having access to your account while you’re out and about offers convenience, and gives you quick access to your financial data.
Lloyds Banking Group, comprised of Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank, announced at the end of 2017 that 49 branches are to close. A spokesman for the group referenced that the growing demand for ‘Digital banking’ has directly affected the number of visits to the banks.
He said: "Customers are increasingly choosing to use digital and mobile channels for their everyday banking needs. As a consequence, the number of customers visiting some of our branches has declined in recent years. It’s clear to see the appeal of digital banking. It offers quicker access and most of all, convenience to the consumer.”
Traditional banking skills will still be in demand, leaning on a range of customer-focused soft skills, but the emergence of digital banking has also called for specialised digital skills to help facilitate the mobile apps and digital banking.
Rebecca Moore, a financial and professional services digital specialist at Michael Page, said: “As the financial services landscape continues to move towards a digitally-led way of operating, so too have their marketing methods as even the most traditional banks, asset managers and insurance brokers, have recognised the need to grow their businesses through interacting with their customers and clients through digital channels.” We’ve already seen the emergence of job titles like Digital Banking Advisor, Digital Product Manager, Digital Banking Product and Strategy Director, and banks and FinTech start-ups are increasing the need for more Digital Marketing Managers, something that recruiters have seen first-hand. Rebecca adds: “Here at Michael Page, we have helped build the teams of financial services institutions who are just starting out their digital transformation journeys and partnered with specialist FinTech start-ups who are looking to rapidly grow their already substantial digital teams.”
Digital mobile banks such as Monzo and Revolut are changing the way we think about banking. Both were created in 2015 and allow customers to send free money transfers in multiple currencies. These digital banks are completely online-based with handy interactive apps for the smartphone generation where transactional data can be monitored through respective iPhone and Android devices.
Traditional banking is still a mainstay of the high-street, but more and more options are becoming available, allowing customers to operate unconventionally, which in turn should create more opportunities for innovation and new jobs.
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