On September 12th the new iPhone X was unveiled by Apple as ¨the future of banking¨. The most expensive Apple phone to date, with improved visuals and performance, it has kick-started the next generation of digital banking, and here at Strands we have discovered what we believe to be the 3 main ways it will shape our banking future.
P2P and Mobile Payments
Thanks to Apple's new operating system (iOS 11) it is now possible for peer to peer payments to be made through Apple Pay. This platform allows for the simple and quick transferral of funds between the user and their contacts. The option to do this can be found within personal iMessage conversations or with help from Siri - you can utilise a ¨send money¨command to any one of your contacts. When the transaction takes place, funds will be drawn from the account and entered into Apple Pay. The recipient will receive a cash balance on a digital Apple Pay cash card that can be transferred to their bank account via a debit card, or used to pay friends. This technology offers a way of simplifying payments and creating frictionless experiences, whilst also establishing new standards in the way payments could be carried out in the future.
After introducing the TouchID thumbprint scanner in 2013, Apple has once again continued to be the market leader with their new facial recognition technology, FaceID. Instead of just a matching thumbprint to log onto your account, Apple have updated the iPhone X’s front-facing camera, to allow the user to simply scan their face to be able to unlock their device. Incorporating a 3D scan, a dot projector and an infrared camera, it allows for a the most secure authentication process yet. Apple claims that there is a 1 in a 1,000,000 chance of someone else being able to login into someone else's account, compared to the 1 in 50,000 of just thumbprint technology.
This is an important factor in terms of digital banking, as it means that as people's sensitive information becomes safer, they are likely to grow in confidence when using mobile banking tools. Furthermore, banks can offer better security that is seamlessly integrated into the user experience as biometric authentication improves. They may feel secure enough to allow customers transfer money in and out of accounts instead of just viewing them from their mobiles.
Augmented Reality can be utilised to overlay information onto the world around us by taking the device's camera view and projecting relevant information on top of it. Apple is bringing this technology to the masses, making it easily available to all iPhone X users. From a banking perspective, this is significant due to the fact that it creates endless possibilities, such as allowing prospective homebuyers to overlay property and mortgage details as they pass a house for sale, or to visualize their full financial portfolio laid out on the nearest wall. For example, IKEA has introduced AR in their new app to simulate how their products would fit and look in your home. This type of technology could lead to all types of markets introducing a new sales method, such as cars companies allowing you to visualise what your next car would look like in your garage.
Not only could this increase the potential for sales and buying, it also presents a market for gamification. For example, in a panel discussion at Finovate, lending app MoneyLion introduced a new feature called “Grow Your Stack.” where you can visualize your money in cash laid out in front of you. It is believed such apps and technology will play an important role in motivating saving and budgeting habits in the future.
Next Generation of Banking
Only time will tell if these three aspects will be make the impact intended. If they catch on and are replicated by the competition, i.e. Android, it will promote new digital and omnichannel banking for both banks and their customers. Whilst adding more levels of security, they are bringing the financial information closer to the consumer than ever before: it allows banking to become more accessible for everyone.