I have been working in the banking industry for over fifteen years. Nowadays, the banking industry has changed so much in comparison to the banking industry a decade ago. Technological advances have revolutionized people’s banking habits. Advance technology has given people more options than just coming in physically into the bank to conduct account transactions. In this paper, I will compare banking in the past versus banking today and how technology has played such an enormous role in creating this difference while maintaining the same customer service.
I started as a teller when I first began working at the bank about fifteen years ago. In the past, traffic at the branch was high and customers constantly came into the branch to conduct financial transactions. The branch was busy from the time it opened to the time it closed. Today, walk-in customers have dropped dramatically. Customers do not utilize the branch like they used to in the past. With so many different options to bank, customers no longer have a reason to physically visit a branch unless there is a major issue with their accounts that can’t be addressed outside of the branch.
The banks’ ability to get additional businesses such as loans from their customers has declined also because there is less interaction between bank employees and the customers. In order to attract customers to the bank, the banks have to change their marketing skills to bring customers into the branch. One such skill may involve giving customers calls in the evening on a monthly basis to setup appointments for them to come into the bank. Another skill may involve visiting a business location in an attempt to gather more businesses for the branch.
In the past, these marketing skills were not created because there was no need for them since people came into the branch anyways. In today’s society, web or online banking has become a must have feature for every bank. In the past, customers can only check their account activities once a month when they receive their monthly statements or by walking into a branch. Today, transactions are updated online instantaneously. Online transaction will show up as soon as you make a purchase with your debit card or after a deposit is made.
This feature is advantageous for customers because it gives them an opportunity to identify errors made to their accounts on a daily basis. As a result, fraudulent financial transactions are discovered a lot quicker and offer better protection for everyone. Recently, mobile banking has also become very popular. Everybody owns and carries a smartphone with them wherever they go. It has become one of the most essential parts of people lives, especially for those in the younger generation.
It only makes sense for the banking industry to offer such services through smartphones. Ten years ago it would be impossible for customers to know what is going on in their account unless they look at their statement. Today, customers can monitor all of their transactions just by opening an app on their phone. Not only can you check your transaction history, but many banks have also implemented ways to deposit checks through the use of smartphones. The deposits can be made simply by taking a photo of the check.
Banking can be done anytime and anywhere! Moreover, ATM machines are everywhere nowadays. In the past, ATM machines were very simple and the only transactions possible was to withdraw cash. The customer will put their ATM card into the machine, input their pin number, and withdraw the amount that was requested. Today, the ATM machines are more complex because it can handle many different types of transactions. ATM machines are much more advanced and they are made to make banking more convenient.
The deposits can be made at the ATM machine even after hours and the printed receipt shows the image of the checks that are deposited. In addition, people can pay their bills directly at the ATM machine to avoid late charges. There are even talks that the Bank of America will be utilizing ATM machines with monitors so customers can talk to a live representative to resolve simple banking issues. These are just more reasons for people to not walk into a physical branch for their customer service needs.
In the past, there were only two options to pay someone either by writing a check or giving cash. Ever since debit card and online bill pay was introduced, people are not required to carry their checkbooks or a big stash of cash with them. Every purchase can be made with a check card and be directly debited from the checking account. Online bill pay is another way to eliminate check writing. People no longer need to write checks to pay their bills every month. Bills can be paid directly from online banking accounts and schedule automatically on a monthly basis.
Nowadays, people are writing checks less frequently. The banking industry has gradually evolved over the past decade. Customer’s account transactions are not confined to a physical branch. Advanced technologies have made banking easier than ever. The options that technological advances have offered are helping customers save time and money. Based on the trend today, I believe these other banking options that are available due to technological advance will eventually replace most physical retail bank branches.