We all live in a world where advancing technology continues to improve our daily lives. You only have to look back over a short time to realise how quickly things change and become normal. There are many examples of this, from the development of smartphones and touch screen technology, to automation through advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. One sector that has benefitted greatly from this is the finance industry, leading to FinTech companies popping up all with innovations to drive the industry forward. So, what does this mean for the future of money?
We have already seen over the last decade how much day-to-day banking has changed. The way in which we interact with our banks and lenders has been driven by convenience, with no longer customers restricted by having to visit a local branch or spend hours on the phone. Smart apps and changes in the way we access our money have opened the market. There are now many online-only banks that didn’t exist before, thanks to open banking that allows customers to access their accounts through third party companies. These days, if you need a low credit score loan, you can find one quickly and apply in minutes, getting approved funds the same day. This trend will continue and become faster still with AI able to assess and approve or decline an application quickly, helping to speed up the process. Add to this more personalisation, and you have an almost instant cycle.
There are lots to suggest physical currency as we know it, something we have had for thousands of years, will soon be obsolete. Ever since the rise of cryptocurrencies, the future of cash has been questioned, yet still not at the stage where the majority of the world has adopted it. Many people already live cash-less lives thanks to contactless payments and integration into their smartphones and devices. The future will heavily rely on technology to keep the monetary system going, even more so than at present, so digital currency will eventually be the norm. The potential for traditional banks having their own digital currency options sooner rather than later could mean cash could disappear entirely within the next few decades.
With the rise of FinTech comes more concerns about safety, so it goes hand in hand that security will continue to evolve to ensure a smooth transition. Whilst technology such as facial recognition has been in use for a few years now, there is always those who will look to try and exploit any vulnerabilities. That’s why more is being done to make transactions more secure, especially online where the transfer of data is at risk of being intercepted. From two factor authentication to one time only passcodes, there are many ways banks are making purchases as secure as possible. The move to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a step in the right direction, with the future of biometric cards bringing fingerprint authentication back into play too in a cashless society.
However you look at money as it is today, there are already huge advancements in place within the last decade. The next ten years will see the landscape change completely, potentially confirming the end for traditional coin and note currency for good.