Note: This is a guest post written by James Ronnie
Online banking is already a mainstream industry, with almost all major banks offering this type of service to their customers. At the same time, innovative web-based financial services are emerging and widening the field of possibilities for personal money management and instant transfers.
This market remains very dynamic and continues to evolve in subtle ways, which has in turn provided an even more satisfying customer experience. In fact, modern bank customers are getting accustomed to constant improvements, and financial providers must stay ahead of the technological curve in order not to leave anyone disappointed.
Here are several online banking trends that are gaining steam as we speak and might become dominant during the next year. Pay close attention to see whether you’ll need to change any banking plans in any of the following areas:
1. Biometric authentication
Security is always the first and foremost concern with all financial services, and online transactions have traditionally been vulnerable to abuse. That’s why online providers are moving towards high-tech solutions based on reading of biometric information in order to close the space for identity theft or unauthorized access to funds.
Smartphones of the latest generation are equipped with high-resolution cameras, fingerprint scanners, iris scanners, and other devices capable of acquiring biometric data, which allows for much tighter security procedures. This could soon become the new standard as it will significantly reduce the risks and give users a peace of mind that’s difficult to put a price tag on.
2. Voice-activated banking
Swiping and tapping may be practical, but it would be so much more convenient if you could just tell your phone which transaction to make. This is quickly becoming realistic, as online banking services are increasingly embracing natural language processing technologies that give them the ability to respond to vocal instructions.
Needless to say, with voice-activated commands it becomes possible to handle personal finance tasks while on the move, for example while waiting in line at the supermarket or even while driving to work. You may still need to be in a relatively quiet environment for this option to work accurately, but that’s certainly a step forward from being chained to your desk.
3. Automated customer support
Financial organizations discovered a way to provide high-quality customer support on a 24/7 basis without spending a fortune on staff salaries. AI-powered chatbots have demonstrated an outstanding ability to conduct meaningful conversations and point users towards the available answers, which has greatly reduced the need for human operators.
It’s very easy to find out how to open an account with bad credit or any other detail when you can consult with the bank’s customer support system at any time of day or night. For some people it may seem awkward to communicate with a bot, although this feeling tends to disappear as soon as the machine starts giving smart answers.
4. Improved fraud protection
Keeping the clients happy is not the only thing that banks use AI capacities for. Thanks to powerful data processing algorithms, financial operators are able to take advantage of big data analysis and search for indicators of fraudulent activity.
In this way, it becomes possible to recognize the electronic signatures of malicious users and block them from access to online services, thus protecting the legitimate clients. Since those systems are self-improving and becoming more effective as they’re exposed to a larger volume of data, they are thriving in the hyper-connected environment of the modern internet.
5. Expanded self-service options
As online banking systems become smarter, clients keep gaining greater levels of independence when dealing with their funds and online transactions. This trend is likely to continue in 2020, with more banks allowing the clients to complete almost every type of financial service without the need to interact with employees.
These days it’s possible to set up automated payments in order to settle monthly bills, approve transfers, or even apply for loans from a mobile phone. This can save a lot of time and make bank office hours irrelevant, thus allowing the client to be in full control over their money at all times — which is the very definition of good banking service.