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Digital banking is at the core of today’s financial system. However, this wasn’t always the case. Banking has come along way, from going to your local teller and requesting funds, all the way to keeping your crypto insured and safe. Nowadays, nearly every bank offers some form of digital banking to its customers.
What is Digital Banking?
Digital banking sometimes referred to as e-banking slowly emerged over the last few decades. Importantly, digital banking portals allow banks to provide customers with access to traditional banking services via their PC or smart device. These services save customers and the bank time and money. Consequently, they are more popular than ever.
The History of Digital Banking
The earliest forms of digital banking emerged in the 1960s. It was at this time the world began to see the first ATMs and debit cards introduced. These products were revolutionary for a couple of reasons. For one, for the first time in history, banking customers could access their funds 24/7. Remember, up until this point, you needed to go down to your local branch to withdraw or deposit funds. Depending on where you lived, this process could take considerable time.
The introduction of the internet changed digital banking forever. At first, banks relied on the internet for internal functionalities such as monitoring accounts or fund transfers. However, by the late 1990s, banks began offering services such as balance updates and fund transfers directly from the digital banking portal. By this point, digital banking was on its way to becoming a major trend.
In less than a decade, the internet saw a huge expansion in capabilities. The added data transmission and improved computer manufacturing techniques led to the creation of Smartphones. Today, it’s hard to imagine life without your smartphone. These handy pocket PCs enabled banks to offer a full suite of products from their portals.
Consequently, a host of new services emerged because of the availability of smartphones. Features such as photo check cashing began to emerge in the market place. This feature allows clients to deposit checks by taking a picture on their cell phone via their banking app.
Given all of the advantages digital banking brings to the sector, it’s easy to see why today, every bank offers some form of digital banking to its clients. Both clients and banks have much to gain from this hi-tech integration.
Digital Banking Benefits
Digital banking is far more convenient for both banks and customers. Customers save valuable time and resources by not having to go to a physical location. Additionally, their transactions are more secure because they don’t require the client to travel with funds in hand.
Importantly, the push for digital banking came mostly from the bankers. Banks gain huge amounts of flexibility and savings via e-banking portals. The money saved on infrastructure can go to further development of their online interfaces. Online banking eliminates much of the hiring, security, rent, and random customer needs such as deposit slips from the banking business model.
Digital Banking vs Online Banking
The field of e-banking has led to major evolutions within the financial sector. Originally, e-banking portals existed to help supplement brick and mortar banks. Today, that’s not the case as more online-only banks emerge.
Over the last five years, Online-only banks have become a major trend in the market. These firms possess no physical location. As such, clients can conduct all transactions via their PC or smartphone. In most instances, these bank’s client base stretches across the country.
Benefits of e-Banking
As more digital banks appear in the market, it’s important to understand the benefits they introduce. Digital banks are able to be more flexible in who they provide services to, and how they acquire clients. Additionally, studies have shown that customers prefer banks with digital banking portals over their traditional counterparts.
Easier to Join
The integration of KYC and AML protocols into online banking onboarding changed everything. Now, banks could gain new clients, while remaining compliant, via their online portal. To accomplish this monumental tasks, e-banking onboarding procedures include ID verification systems. Here potential clients must provide a large number of documents, such as ID Proofs, employment proof, address, etc.
Smartphones allow clients to provide these documents in pristine digital quality. Importantly, the digital banking platform automatically extrapolates and processes the relevant data via preprogrammed protocols. This strategy saves the bank and customer valuable time.
Discussing the evolution, Nnamdi Azodo of ALAT Digital Bank spoke on the importance of streamlining the banking sector. He described e-banking as the “application of technology to every banking activity.” Azodo explained that digital banking is the future of banking and that to remain competitive, all banks must embrace these upgrades.
24 Hour Banking
One of the biggest upgrades digital banking brings to the sector is accessibility. Remember, before the dawn of e-banking, you had to go down to your local branch. While in some instances, such as requesting a loan, a personal approach may be what you desire, in most instances, such as a deposit, there is no benefit to in-person transactions.
Digital banking allows you to access your account information and market transactions 24-hours a day and across the globe. This international accessibility helped to push the global economy forward. Now, digital banking is at the core of our global financial system.
In the old days, banks spent large portions of their earnings on processes such as verification and accounting. Thankfully, computers removed much of this workload for banks. Today, automation plays a critical role in modern banking systems. Automation saves banks money and time when conduction the most common transactions.
Digitization reduces the steps involved in transactions, it also reduces the staff required. Digital banks save a ton on employee and upkeep costs. These costs can then be passed down to customers. These savings are part of the reason why digital banks continue to see widespread adoption globally.
The advent of blockchain technology has pushed digital banking to new heights. Blockchain technology provides banks with a more efficient and transparent alternative to the status quo. This revolutionary technology allows banks to eliminate many of the third-party verification systems currently in place. Consequently, it provides banks with huge cost savings and a more secure platform to conduct transactions within.
Crypto Digital Banks
Aside from ushering in a new era of efficiency, blockchain tech also introduced the world to cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin continue to draw investor interests. Consequently, the emergence of these new financial instruments has created a unique opportunity within the e-banking sector – crypto banks.
Cryptocurrency digital banks provide traditional banking services to crypto clients such as service providers, investors, or exchanges. For example, a crypto bank allows you to store, save, spend, and transfer cryptocurrencies from the banking portal. This style of banking has grown in popularity over the last five years in tandem with the growth of cryptocurrency use.
Today, crypto banks can be found easily. One example of a crypto bank is World Bit Bank. This platform offers crypto users access to a debit card, low-cost transaction fees, currency exchange, and real-time access to payments anywhere in the world. On top of these features, the bank introduced a native cryptocurrency called the WIBCOIN (WBBC).
Importantly, the World Bit Bank utilizes the WBBC as the unit of account for all transactions in the WBB ecosystem. Additionally, WBBCs will function as the foundation of interaction with other digital currencies on the platform.
Joining the World Bit Bank is easy. Simply download the DAPP from the Apple Store or Google Play. Once downloaded you will receive some verification prompts. After you verify your ID, you are ready to begin banking. It’s as easy as that.
Digital Banking – Banking for the World
A new trend in the market is the use of AI to streamline banking processes. Advanced AI algorithms are able to determine the eligibility and qualifications of clients automatically. For example, the online loan you applied for last week may never go in front of a real human. Instead, a bank’s AI system will determine your eligibility for the funding using a set of pre-programmed criteria.
Digital Banking continues to see growth within the financial sector. Importantly, a multitude of major banking institutions diverted funds from the creation of new branches into e-banking platform upgrades recently. You can expect this trend to continue as the digitization of the market expands. For now, a digital bank could be the perfect solution to all of your banking needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
David Hamilton is a full-time journalist and a long-time bitcoinist. He specializes in writing articles on the blockchain. His articles have been published in multiple bitcoin publications including Bitcoinlightning.com
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