Editor's Note: Many have said that technology makes our lives easier. When it comes to digital banking, we believe that there is some truth to that statement. As Thanksgiving wraps up, we take a moment to reflect on some of the digital banking technology that we're thankful for.
With the technology that we have available today, new features and functionalities appear and disappear at a rapid pace. With the exception of a few first movers and early adopters, financial institutions have typically introduced new technology slower than many other types of businesses.
As much as those who work in FinTech tend to highlight this fact, there are reasons for this (e.g., regulatory pressures and risk factors) and the digital banking landscape is hardly devoid of technical progress. Given we have just completed Thanksgiving, perhaps we should extend our assessment of things to be grateful for to looking at some of that technology that truly makes life more convenient for us.
For most of us, gone are the days of paying bills by mail or in person. Online bill pay has simplified the process of paying bills, making it easier and faster than ever. Adoption was not particularly massive at the beginning, but today the process of licking stamps and writing checks to satisfy the utility company or your card provider is in steep decline. As additional features such as scheduling and automatic payment have emerged, even the forgetful can avoid late fees.
When access to bank accounts first became available via mobile phone, it was hardly a technical revolution in terms of consumer convenience. Clunky navigation, missing functionality, small text, and other "undocumented features" made things painful. With the development of the mobile app, we are not only able to access and view our accounts, but we are also able to control just about everything we need to while on-the-go. As financial institutions learn more about how their consumers interact with apps, they are becoming even more streamlined, making them easier than ever to use.
Before we had access to our accounts online, those of us who were budget-minded kept ledgers of our transactions so we could keep track of our financial condition. Even for the most ardent, this task was tedious and annoying. As the online banking experience evolved, many financial institutions began to provide personal financial management tools that give us more insight into our spending than ever before. Not only is each transaction categorized so we know how we are spending all our money, many banks and credit unions also provide tools that help us save money, plan for large purchases and set ourselves up for future financial success.
Fingerprint ID Login
For most of its history, the "login" has not been frictionless. Some of this is understandable since security requires that we identify ourselves uniquely. Luckily, the tools used for this purpose have evolved in a positive direction. In the early days of online banking, it was long, complicated passwords that you could never remember. Once mobile became available, the process seemed to get worse since typically the user interface was different than the experience online. Then biometrics arrived on the scene, most commonly in the form of fingerprint ID. As banks and credit unions are adopting this and other forms of biometrics for login, getting into our accounts to manage finances has become less frustrating, quicker, and more secure.
We undoubtedly left out some features so we want to know what features your financial institution offers that you're most thankful for while we get back to the leftover turkey in front of some grudge week football.
Check back next month as we will give you our digital banking wish list, just in time for the holidays!