The future of transactions: online, fast and trusted
November 13, 2013

The past few years have seen drastic changes in the way people interact with their banks and money. The world has moved from meeting with tellers in-person to ATMs to online banking, and even people interested in face-to-face interactions are discovering a change in how their financial institutions meet with them: MarketPlace recently reported that some ATMs now include a view screen that connects directly with an employee to help during the transaction process.

The video-capable ATMs enable a greater range of options for clients, such as being able to withdraw more than just $20 bills. Bank members who have lost their cards can still access money in an emergency by letting the remote teller see their driver's license. So even traditional means of engaging with some organizations have changed, and will continue to evolve alongside technology in the future. 

​Use mobile and remember the consumer
MarketPlace highlighted another change banks are instituting, which is the ability to remotely queue up an ATM cash withdrawal from a smartphone. Once bank members reach the machine, they can use a QR code to receive their cash, without the need to swipe a card or enter a PIN. 

Another change that MarketPlace noted is that even older demographics are moving toward mobile or online options for their banking and other needs, and the news provider added that financial institutions are only just now catching up. 

Leveraging reputation
Banks are in an excellent position to transform with recent trends in mobile devices, commerce and how people may payments, because as much as people value the way these areas all interact and have advanced, some people are still unsure about how security is handled. According to a recent study from FIS, consumers trust their banks over other financial institutions for providing real-time payment services to them. While the study focused on overseas transfers and person-to-person (P2P) payments, the findings highlight the importance that banks play in people's lives and how they can capitalize on mobile trends and security because of their reputation. 

However, the FIS study also revealed the importance of speed. People paying bills online, transferring money and making P2P transactions through mobile devices want the service to be fast and easy. The more steps between starting the process and ending it, the less likely that individuals are to use it. Rather than having to enter routing numbers or other complicated details, people want to be able to use email addresses or phone numbers when directing transactions. 

"As the research has shown, people trust their financial institutions to bring them real-time payment solutions, but they will use other avenues if their bank can't meet their needs," said Anthony Jabbour, executive vice president of North American Financial Institutions at FIS. "For that reason, financial institutions must adapt to keep step with their customers and not fall behind non-bank competitors."

The FIS findings convey that financial institutions will need to eliminate as many barriers as possible to fully realize online banking, apps, commerce and the other options made available through changing technology. There are multiple steps to this depending on the specific market or purpose an organization is looking to serve, but banks have an advantage that some other contenders in this arena, such as Google and PayPal, lack. Overcoming privacy and authentication concerns alone is substantial, and the first challenge that other industries are still struggling with. 

For financial institutions, trust has already been established for their mobile and online offerings. Their concern from there should be finding a way to conveniently serve their members in other avenues of their lives.