The bank of the future

Does anyone remember London in 1966? Apparently something big happened in the world of football. More importantly – for a Scotsman at least – Barclays unveiled the world’s first digital ATM (the technology was rolled out to the public in 1967 and opened by the now sadly deceased Reg Varney). In the same year the bank also developed the Barclaycard, the world’s first credit card.

At this morning’s IAB Engage for Finance conference, Catriona Campbell, Founder of Foviance and Paul Dawson, Experience Director at Conchango, outlined what new developments we can expect see in the financial industry in the years to come.

A short film from Microsoft’s Industry Innovations Group, showed the bank of the future, complete with ambient interfaces and Minority Report-style iris recognition technology. Campbell went on to outline how technologies of the future may be applied to the digital financial world. She explained that EEG technology (that’s ‘electroencephalography’, the measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain as recorded from electrodes placed on the scalp – thanks Wikipedia) can be used to show what effect bank homepages have on the minds of consumers – be warned, apparently, First Direct registers “high arousal”. Click here to view – it may not be safe for work though.

For Dawson, the future of digital advertising is brand utility – “being useful” – and brand experience – “being loved”. Financial brands must pay attention to this as they face the current financial climate. “Great ideas come out of difficult times”, concluded Campbell. A useful lesson for modern times.

To read a summary of today’s events at IAB Engage For Finance click here.

  • Most people working in ad agencies weren’t born in 1966 (IPA, 2008). The problem with financial products / services is the disconnection between appearing to be useful (brand perception) and actually being so. Despite technological developments, there is an underlying impression that everything our friendly bank is doing is part of their evil plan to get more of our money.

    The cracks have been showing in recent times and our love affair with financial institutions is firmly on the rocks.

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    Must say I have to agree with Andy’s comments regarding what financial institutions are doing for consumers.

    It appears, despite so many providers giving us online channels by which to transact, that they make their customer experience so difficult and unfriendly that they force us offline. Maybe they’ve finally realised that if we’re applying online for a product, it’s just that product we want. They’re not Amazon, who can legitimately cross sell related and relevant products.

    IMHO that’s a deliberate ploy to cross sell us stuff we don’t want – extra insurance, upgrade to a current account, payment protection. All of these just make money for these guys.