The Portable Bank

Digital financial technology and their future with smartphones

My mobile phone has become an extension of myself, it is part diary, part fitness planner, part social media manager, part newspaper, part mp3 player and part shop assistant. Essentially, without realising it, I have allowed my  phone to become everything I need all in one white, sleek piece of metal and plastic, all encased in a black, digitally printed sugar skull cover.

Now this in itself is no longer uncommon, the mobile phone has transformed into far more than the sum of its parts and for many people is now the lynchpin of their professional and personal lives.

Innovative banking apps

In line with the smartphone becoming most people’s personal assistant, several banks have found a range of innovative ways to use the smartphone to their advantage, from increasingly clever banking apps to services such as Paym and Pingit, the mobile phone is fast becoming the world’s way of engaging with their financial services provider.

I considered this as I transferred the deposit on my new flat to our estate agents from Café Nero, mobile phone in one hand, chai tea latte in the other. All in, it took me about a minute to complete the transaction from start to finish, easy, done.

The benefits of mobile banking

As I sat there, I found myself contemplating what other financial benefits my phone could bring me. As a general rule I want only two things from my banking technology, ease and speed. The app I have on my phone allows both of these, but what if the smartphone’s power were to go further…

Smartphone cheque deposits look as though they are set to become the norm and cardless cash withdrawal is not unheard of. The latter is however, mainly limited to using a PIN sent to your phone in lieu of a debit card. What if it could go further? What if, instead of a card, your phone was placed against a cash machine and after registering your banking app, and your biometric authentication, you could withdraw your cash without the need for a card, permanently?

The next steps for mobile financial services

In recent years the smart phone has become an intrinsic part of our day to day lives. Surely, the next logical step is for us to use our phones to conduct the some of the everyday financial activities that we take for granted, such as withdrawing cash or paying for a new pair of shoes.

So how long will it be before financial services providers develop the technology that will transform a single smartphone into a portable bank?