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Tomorrow’s bank? What do HSBC and Wells Fargo think?

I always like to hear what bankers think about the future of banking – it’s probably more accurate than what janitors or futurists think – and so was pleased to see two items in my in-tray this week, one from HSBC and the other from Wells Fargo.

According to the summary of HSBC’s report:

In the future, customers will be able to ask banks to analyse their spending patterns and give them tailored recommendations on investing and saving.

Urmmm … that’s what I get today from some of the challenger banks. It’s not the future.

Mobile banking services could also incorporate new technologies such as augmented reality and voice activation. Imagine looking for a new home: you point your phone at the house of your dreams and talk directly into your banking app. Your bank could tell you not only how much your monthly mortgage repayments might be but also, by drawing from public information, details about local services and taxes.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia introduced this years ago.

The banks who thrive in the future will be those who match great tech with thoughtful risk management and, above all, excellent customer experiences.

Of course that’s true. But how is HSBC doing this? … it doesn’t say.

Meanwhile on The Financial Brand, Lisa Frazier, Head of Innovation at Wells Fargo, gives her views on the future. She says:

“The future of banking is going to be very personalized — one to one. Banks need to become more relevant in the moment for a consumer who has a particular problem. The power of data and artificial intelligence can help us do that.”

I’ve been saying this since the 1990s, after bumping into Don Peppers and Martha Rogers book.

“Customers will increasingly access financial services through technology platforms or ecosystems and choose the most convenient place for banking. APIs and open banking create a better customer experience by providing more transparency, control and enhanced security.”

Urmmm … that’s not new. That’s now.

“The future of the physical experience will be a collaboration of humans – powered by data and AI – and machines to do things we never thought were possible before.”

Such as? … she doesn’t say … I guess, because we never thought it possible before.

I suppose my issue is that, as a guy who forecasts the future of banking, I have thought of things that weren’t possible before. Such as … getting a loan for the next two hours or having money in a savings trust for the next 12 hours; having a bank that secures my photographs, as memories are as important as money; expecting a bank to predict the changes in my life and cater for them; or using a bank as an advisor and mentor, rather than just as a transactor and fee charger.

These are things I’ve written about often, and will happen. It’s just taking time. However, the biggest oversight in both the HSBC and Wells Fargo discussion is that there are banks doing these things already and delivering these things already. Get with the programme.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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