It wasn't too long ago that banking involved only deposits, withdrawals, account creation, and check-writing. Outside of the check and debit card, we haven't seen too many "game-changing" innovations tied to the banking industry that have disrupted the way we pay in business and at retail.
That’s all set to change over the course of the next few years. The rise of smartphones and always-on P2P technology has penetrated the market enough to the point where major shifts in banking and transaction interactivity are finally coming to fruition. Here are some of the biggest banking innovations we can expect to impact the market this year.
1. Google Wallet
PayPal emerged in 1998 and with it came a new way for consumers to make digital payments and businesses transactions. These online money transfers revolutionized the way we interact with e-commerce websites. Since their humble beginnings, the company has expanded to include personal transactions, ties with major credit card carriers and even NFC integration with retail stores.
Of course, Google wasn't too far behind with their flagship mobile payments system Google Wallet. Google Wallet users can store debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, and loyalty cards within the Google Wallet system for ease of payment on terminals enabled with PayPass, Google's proprietary Android NFC system.
Since Gmail is far and away the most popular email service, it would only make sense to transition Google Wallet to that same platform. Rolling out over the next few months, the new Google Wallet integration will allow users to securely send money to friends and family within Gmail itself, bypassing competing services such as PayPal. While highly ambitious, Google Wallet aims to disrupt the current retail marketplace by giving the user the first ever all-encompassing digital wallet solution.
Business-to-business relationships are also evolving. No longer are we stuck in the stone age of sales calls, business meetings, carbon copy forms, and faxing. With smartphones, Skype calls, SaaS and cloud-technology, the business landscape is becoming much more global and collaborative. B2B transactions are no different. Enter: AribaPay.
AribaPay is a new system developed by Ariba and Discover that will change the way B2B payments are conducted. With AribaPay, no longer will paper transactions be necessary. Eliminating this assists buyers and sellers with reconciliation and clarity about cash flow.
From completing a savings rates comparison to performing everything electronically, the banking industry as we know it is continuously evolving to provide a better environment in the B2B world.
3. Near Field Communication
In this world of instant gratification, it's natural that the next great innovation in retail transactions would reflect the trend of prioritizing convenience and integrated technologies. This is where NFC comes in. NFC (or Near Field Communication) is a new way for smartphones and tablets to establish an instant connection by simply touching or being in close proximity to any NFC equipped device (such as an ATM or cash register). The adoption of this technology opens up many new possibilities for both businesses and consumers alike. Not only does it aim to replace the plastic in your wallet, but it also argues a safer way to pay via passwords and an extra layer of encryption. Google has already made moves to implement NFC into their Google Wallet app while Apple has begun testing the technology in its Apple retail stores. Regardless, we are very likely to hear more about how this technology evolves as more retail businesses look to adopt it.
With these innovations cropping up, it's clear that evolution is being made in the way we conduct our banking business. The path is being paved for faster transaction times, less of a paper trail and a general ease to completing your banking needs, whatever they may be.