Banking has hardly changed, until very recently. Yes, in the early 2000s, we started slowly adopting telephone banking, then there was internet banking, and now there’s mobile banking. However, all of this “innovation” simply changed how we access banking, not how we actually bank. I believe the upcoming changes in banking will change how we access banks and how we bank, hopefully making it more secure and convenient.
Banking in 2025
Let’s take a ride in my DeLorean DMC-12. Year 2025, GO! OK, sorry about some turbulence, we’re here now. See, that’s future you, and for some reason you need to go to the bank branch. I know, it’s 2025, but you insist … Other you (the one actually from the future) quickly tells your voice assistant that you’re going to the bank branch, so it finds the nearest one for you and loads the details to your augmented reality (AR) headset. You get into your flying self-driving (or self-piloting) car. (Those will exist – don’t shatter my dream!)
The car flies you to the branch. You don’t need to worry about parking, as your car will drive away and find a parking spot nearby. You will simply hail it from your smart watch once you leave the building (that’s a scary thought for Uber).
The branch of the future
You walk into an all-white bank branch that feels like an Apple Store. There are huge touchscreens and iPad Vacuums on the table (they’re so light, it’s practically vacuum, so they call it vacuum because air is considered heavy these days). You find the nearest available iPad, launch authentication app, which scans your retina, fingerprint and third party (bank employee who is present nearby) approval that you’re not being forced to authenticate your account against your will. It’s more like a supermarket self-checkout experience, where there’s one employee who only approves your age for alcohol purchases and helps if something goes wrong.
Instant, secure service
You’re logged in, and the app has synced with your augmented reality handset. You seem to be transferring a large amount of money, so you need to verify the transaction with your voice. The app asks you to read out a sentence and say your name. Everything matches. The reason you’re transferring a large amount of money is because you’re moving to a new bank and you like their app better. Since it’s 2025, changing banks is as easy as changing your shampoo brand. All data is owned by the customer and can be provided to all other institutions via API, instantly. Money is wired instantly because of advances in blockchain technology and settlement.
Your phone vibrates. You receive a new message on Facebook Messenger from your new bank saying that your new account has been activated. You can start using it right away. You only registered for it 30 minutes ago.
You respond with a “thank you” because your conversation feels very natural and human-like, even though you’re talking to a bot called Jenny (you can change it to Jack if you like). She asks if you’d like to enable personal finance manager support and personal accountant support, free of charge. You ask what they are and Jenny kindly explains: “Personal finance manager, Bob, is an AI-powered bot that gives you a holistic view of your finances and provides forward-looking advice. For example: good investment opportunities for your risk profile, remortgaging your house loan, or consolidating your loans into a more attractive P2P loan to shave off interest payments if better deals are available.”
Personal accountant Diana is also a bot, who has a more retrospective look at your finances, identifying large expense pools, comparing spending of any specific category month-to-month to understand the changes, and providing suggestions on how to do more with your money. Diana asks if you want her to help you save better with smart saving. You quickly type: “What’s smart savng?” Diana isn’t phased by the spelling mistake and explains that smart saving will use your previous spending data to understand when is the best time for you to save, and how much you can afford to put aside. It will occasionally transfer a small amount to your savings account when (according to the algorithm) you will miss it least, and sends you a message on WhatsApp (you can change it to Snapchat if you like) to ask if you’re happy about it. If you say no, the money is instantly returned to your main account. This way, Diana explains, we can develop better saving habits, and remove the most difficult part of the savings equation – ourselves. You agree.
You thank Diana and return to your chat with Jenny. You say that you would like to use both services, because it’s free after all. You say thank you, because, again, it feels like talking to a friend with a very casual language and emojis. Now you ask her to change your monthly rent payments (all payee details are stored centrally, and you don’t need to re-enter them even though you just opened this bank account) to include that 2% annual rent increase and then send it to your landlady. 15 seconds later, you get a message that it’s done. At this point, you’re not even typing but simply talking to the microphone. It’s easier this way, and you’re constantly authenticated (voice authentication) to carry out most operations.
At critical moments such as money transfer, you are required to tap a fingerprint scanner as a second-step confirmation. OK, you’re done and you press the one-button logout. The session is closed (it would close anyway as soon as you step more than five feet away from the iPad due to NFC sync between your AR set and the iPad – an added security measure). You tap your smart watch to hail your car and fly into the sunset…
Banking feels more like shopping for gadgets than, well, banking! We need to go back now, because the DeLorean is running out of fuel. (They haven’t invented electric time travel cars yet.)
Back to reality
How do you imagine banking in the future? Would you be more likely to trust your banks with services like that? Leave a comment below. I need to go and wash the DeLorean before dad finds out …
– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here. Photo: Billion Photos, Shutterstock.com