The Bank of Tomorrow – cool name – you like it, you can have it, just make sure you use it well. Strange side note it is abbreviated as BOT – but no correlation there…just interesting coincidence. I wonder truly how long we can play the perpetual debt game for without the system imploding on itself. Does the economy have an economic shelf life? Truthfully, I couldn’t tell you, but I can say with confidence that if it does, part of prolonging the economic shelf life involves institutions giving financial control back into the hands of the people. This comes at a huge cost however, or does it? Here are three things we the people should be demanding of our banks today for a more sustainable banking future.
We now need to be presented with the most full and fair disclosure. The definition of transparency is to allow light to pass through so objects can be distinctly seen; critically thinking this definition through reveals a lot more than what meets the eye. Transparency will create a fairer playing field and will create a meritocracy between competing financial institutions. We should bank where we feel safe, where we have a personal connection to the companies themselves, and not simply where our parents and grandparents opened their first bank account years ago; we can only identify with these things if the banks are not afraid of showing us their true colours. Also, being fully transparent comes with a natural sense of authenticity as the financial institutions can no longer hide behind fine print.
By this I don’t mean robotic bank tellers with super computers built in to their brains. Rather it means providing holistic advice and a stakeholder-based approach that benefits our local communities. If Starbucks can get our names right and create a personal connection with your barista than surely it can be accomplished, our names should be known. Caring for our community needs to be more than simply a tax write off – it should involve less self interest and often times, especially with a little creative thought, doesn’t have to cost the bank as much. Let’s face it profits are important but, I say no to Mr. Gordon Gekko, “greed is not good”. Greed is the monster lurking under the bed of capitalism, it’s what takes a great system of free thought and turns it into something that too many of us can no longer identify with. Remember, as business owners, our goal is to serve first, despite what our quarterly projections are.
This is most important because it will ensure the above is being done and accounted for, likely through the blockchain, then likely through additional AI. Most people think technology means removing people and hence jobs. I believe this will give the banks and financial institutions the ability to do what they should do best, provide customer service. We want to use technology for all of it’s wonders but we want this is to be handled by real people who’s hands we can shake, who’s advice we can trust. Through the advent of these technologies the employee will now be best equipped and trained to do what they should have been doing the whole time, instead of feeling threatened by their sales targets and employee score cards. The banks have been and will continue to purchase new technologies to help them save in key areas, if they pass that on to their employees, the employees will then pass on great service to their communities. Unfortunately, what is being done today is jobs being replaced by new technology and employees feeling more and more threatened that their livelihoods are at stake.
Of course, there is much more that needs to go into future banking design, but I believe through transparency, consciousness, and the proper use of new technology greatness in the banking sector can be achieved and a new sense of trust will be created between the community and the institutions that serve them.