Banks have the power to change lives; building trust is key

Today’s banking industry looks like a luxurious supercar next to a horse-drawn cart in comparison to that of yore

Photo by Shihab
Photo by Shihab

By Tahany Taher

Published: Fri 3 Dec 2021, 3:58 PM

Banking was born the day the first cavemen and cavewomen decided to store food for the harsh winter in exchange for sabre-toothed cat’s teeth. Banking in its infancy was akin to a squirrel storing nuts for the future, or humans dwelling in a barter system to survive. The mechanism started with this basic premise.

Today’s banking industry looks like a luxurious supercar next to a horse-drawn cart in comparison to that of yore. It seems like a lifetime ago, when I started my career in banking.

Earlier, the focus was on meeting people face to face and fostering those relationships.

Now, it’s all about providing instant gratification at the tap of your fingers. The advent of technology has transformed the banking industry. People can now transfer money, pay their bills, and, in some cases, even open accounts without having to step out of their homes.

Banks truly have the power to change lives, where building a customer’s trust still holds the key. However, there have been several pros and cons due to the advent of new age technology. For example, we have lost human touch because of artifical intelligence. Chatbots have answers to frequently asked questions, while virtual assistants can handle phone banking services. While some are still looking for an actual customer service staff to talk to, it cannot be denied that technological advancements have also empowered the lives of many.

We have quickly come to realise over the past decade that further improvement was necessary to be relevant in a global economy. I, too, have come across a phenomenal change over the years.

I believe the Covid-19 pandemic had a beneficial impact on improving the banking system. It’s high time for the industry to realise that the change is essential and inevitable.

I have experienced the challenges faced on both ends of transactions such as customer service and financial tasks, as part of one of the largest and most impressive multinational banks.

Banking processes have gradually developed from traditional methods and deployed initiatives to refine and upgrade internal operations. This, in turn, has enhanced the experience of our customers. Gone are the days of worrying about carrying sufficient cash in wallets. For instance, we’re relying on automation processes for a faster, efficient and personalised customer experience.

Several organisations provide unique forms of loyalty-points based currency services or modes of accessibility to allow people to do banking, such as Apple Pay or Paypal. The industry requires constant adaptation to changing times, switching to more advanced digital infrastructures, to provide the comfort of online banking.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the change and be closely involved as one of the drivers leading it.

(The author is the Senior Vice-President at a multinational bank)

More news from Year of the 50th