The “Mobilization” of Banking Author's Picture

Posted by
Ken Burgess

The “Mobilization” of Banking

Wow. How times have changed. I worked in my father’s bank when I was in high school and everything we did was manual. The way we delivered banking services to customers was manual. To give you an idea about the time period I am talking about. It was 1974.

Over the next few years, I saw the introduction of the first personal computer and I was the first one in the bank to get an Apple computer in 1980. It only had one program, but it was really cool! For the older people reading this article, the program was VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program. I was sold. I became a tech geek. But back to banking…


It was probably 1982 or 1983 when I saw the first ATM installed. I remember people saying the ATM would not last because no one would choose a machine over a person. We had people stand beside the machines to show customers how to use them. Well, look where we are today. People don’t want to bank with a bank unless they can access an ATM wherever they go and at a reasonable price.

ATM’s are now morphing into full service tellers and you will soon see banking services delivered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using these machines. You will be able to talk to a real teller using the machine and see the teller on a television like screen. Sounds like the “Jetsons”! If you don’t remember that show, I think you can still catch reruns on the Cartoon Network.

Debit Cards

Again showing my age, I remember when all transactions were handled using cash or checks. I was always looking for a place that would cash my check.

When ATM’s were introduced, you received an ATM card. The only thing you could do with the card was use it in an ATM. But then debit cards were invented. The beginning of the end for checks had started. We still have cash and checks, but their use is diminishing rapidly. With the payments network that has been developed by the banking industry over the last 30 years, people conduct almost every transaction without cash. Many of the Gen Y generation have never written a check!

On-line Banking

Next came on-line banking or internet banking. Adoption was a little slow at first, mainly because web sites were poorly developed and offered very few capabilities outside of balance information and marketing. But over the last 10 years, the inventory of capabilities has exploded. You can now check balances, transfer funds, pay bills, pay another person through e-mail or text, apply for consumer loans, open deposit accounts, order checks, conduct chats with customer service reps and many other services. In fact, many members of Gen Y have never entered a bank branch and may not during their lifetime.

Image of a cell phone with cash

Mobile Banking

Then came Steve Jobs and he changed the world. The invention of the iPhone and the iPad and the capabilities that came along with them changed the world and changed banking forever. Now you can perform almost every banking transaction on your iPhone or iPad that you can on your home computer. No more finding a computer in the business office at the hotel or finding a wireless hotspot at the closest Starbucks to use your laptop. You are never disconnected from your bank accounts. Many banks are now allowing you to deposit paper checks into your bank account by simply scanning the check into your iPhone using a specialized app. Amazing!

As mobile technology continues to improve, you can be sure that you will have more and more functionality available to you for conducting your banking. We hope you will still come see us from time to time though, because it is starting to get lonely.