We’re used to reading scare stories about the threat of automation, and we’re equally used to thinking of banking as one of the most lucrative industries – but few people are aware of how much automation has already affected the industry. Here, Tej Kohli Ventures explores how technology has already changed the way banking works, and what the future may hold.
Last year Business Insider asked a group of experts to predict the biggest changes coming to the banking industry over the next ten years – almost all of them included the impact of automation in their answer. The general consensus was that technology will increasingly be able to carry out tasks within the industry previously performed exclusively by humans. For customers, banking will become an increasingly virtual experience, with less emphasis on physical branches. The bank queue may well be an experience with an expiry date visible on the horizon.
The customer experience of banking has always changed to keep pace with new technology – the cash machine decreased the traditional role of the bank teller, while recent smart banking apps like Monzo and Meet Cleo allow for portable money management solutions. But behind the scenes new technology and automation have also been having an enormous effect on the very fundamentals of the banking industry itself. The growth of artificial intelligence and analytics have already led to the replacement by technology of various functions and processes that would have previously been carried out by humans – and this trend looks set to only continue in the near future.
The speed with which these changes can take place have led some to make particularly bleak prophecies for employees of the baking industry. But there are areas in which technological advancements are desperately needed. Manual processing in banking can be slow, costly and ineffectual with decades old technologies still being used in some sectors. Nima Ghamsari, the CEO of Silicone Valley start-up Blend Labs, believes that a reduction in physical bureaucracy could help to free up banking sector employees to provide services they are currently unable to.
For our own founder Tej Kohli business has always been a natural bedfellow of technology and progress, and the banking industry is no different. Rolling out automation within the banking industry will require a significant amount of work if jobs are to be protected, but it can be done. Ideally skills will be transferred to new areas rather than cutting humans out of the industry altogether. The procedures and IT architecture of banks are currently extremely complex and will require a considerable amount of manual work in order to prepare them for increased automation.
If it is handled with the proper care and consideration, then the growing presence of automation in the way we interact with the world will transform our working lives rather than making us obsolete. For computers to run our lives, we sometimes need people to run the computers.