The future of banking: biometrics take over cash, payments in fluid economy, personal digital agents
This morning ANZ announced its Banking on Australia program, in which it will spend $1.5 billion over the next five years to reshape its business and invest in digital technology, with the immediate launch of a range of digital initiatives.
At the media event announcing the program at ANZ’s headquarters this morning I spoke about the future of banking, and ANZ Australia CEO Phil Chronican shared ANZ’s initiatives.
I will try to write more later about what I covered in my presentation. For now here are some excerpts from ANZ’s press release on some of the very interesting statistics from a survey performed by ANZ for the launch, together with some of my comments.
Seventy-nine per cent of Australians said they would be comfortable with fingerprint technology one day replacing their banking PIN and more than one third of Australians would prefer to live in a cashless world according to a new survey released today.1
The Newspoll survey commissioned by ANZ also found Baby Boomers are giving younger generations a run for their money, with nearly three quarters of those aged 50-64 more likely to use digital technology over a bank branch for day-to-day banking transactions.
Australians have adopted digital habits for most of their banking needs and will increasingly look to technology to make their financial lives easier in the future, with the survey finding:
• Not surprisingly 88 per cent of people aged 18 – 34 prefer to use digital technology over a bank branch for day-to-day transactions but their Mums and Dads weren’t far behind at 75 per cent;
• 38 per cent of Australians would prefer to live in a world where they didn’t need to carry cash;
• 40 per cent of people even accepted the idea of one day outsourcing their finances to a digital personal assistant – an intelligent computer program which makes financial decisions and moves money between accounts on your behalf;
• 49 per cent of 18 -34 year olds like the idea of a digital personal assistant but with only 30 per cent of Baby Boomers indicating they would be likely to use the technology;
• 67 per cent of Australians would be comfortable using a machine that scans your eye to verify identification in place of a pin; and
• 73 per cent of people find it inconvenient when small businesses don’t accept cards and only cash, with 82 per cent of 18-34 year olds finding cash only policies the most frustrating.
The comprehensive survey reveals that while we are embracing many aspects of new technology, Australians still want face-to-face interaction for life’s “big ticket” items. More than twice as many Australians said they would prefer to apply for a loan (62 per cent) or get mortgage advice (64 per cent) in a bank branch than by using digital technology.
Futurist Ross Dawson said the survey shows Australians are willing to lead the way in the uptake of this kind of technology but it will be up to the banks to respond.
“Cash could be on the way out and it’s realistic to imagine a world in which we carry no notes or coins, or even credit or debit cards,” Mr Dawson said.
“Before long we may use our fingerprints or even retina scans to make payments. Australians have shown they are comfortable with biometric identification, because it combines convenience with security.
“As banks make it easier to make and receive payments through devices such as smart phones, a new wave of entrepreneurs and jobs will be enabled. Pop-up stores will tap fleeting fashion trends and revitalise main streets, personal services will be available wherever is most convenient to consumers, and great ideas will garner contributions.
“We have already learned to tell our smart phones what we want with technologies like Apple’s Siri, so it may not be that long before we are relying on a personal digital assistant like Siri to help us with banking transactions such as moving funds or making payments, and even potentially choosing investments on our behalf,” Mr Dawson said.
For more details here is the full press release and here is more information on ANZ’s announcements.