Digitalisation, COVID-19 and the future of banking

If banks fail to digitalise quickly enough they could end up like the High Street bookshop after the emergence of Amazon, write Benedict Weller and Michelangelo Bruno

Imagine you are walking down High Street in the city centre and fancy a coffee. On impulse, you purchase a deluxe Matcha soy latte for £4.95 using your credit card. You are just about to take your first sip of the steaming elixir, when your phone buzzes. It’s your bank which notifying you that you have spent £123.50 on coffee in the last month! (That’s interesting, you knew you drank a lot of coffee but didn’t realise it was this much.) Furthermore, the message from the bank suggests that if you had saved all the money spent on coffee in the last year in an exchange traded fund offered by the bank, focusing of course on environmental and social governance compliant stocks, you could have earned an additional return of 20% on the savings. (Wow, you think!) The notification then offers a direct link to setting up an investment plan, which can be implemented within minutes with a few easy clicks. The user does not need to enter any additional information, as it is already pre-filled. Furthermore, the bank offers to set up a reminder whenever you purchase coffee again, so as to put you into a good habit in the future.

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