Publication date: 1 March 2016
It’s a fact: we cannot live without technology anymore. Technology is everywhere we look; we use it in almost everything we do. And this is only the beginning: with the spread of smartphones, apps, the Internet of Things, online platforms and robots replacing humans, everything suggests that our daily tasks will increasingly be handled by machines. With the ability to simplify cumbersome and time-consuming errands – particularly in finances – digital tools have proven to be a helpful and resourceful way to manage our money.
Brett King, author of Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go But Something You Do, predicts that “80% of millennials (born between 1980 and 2000, the first digital native generation) will never tread a bank office. All their relationship with banks will be made through their mobile phones.” He foresees that by 2020, bank accounts will be contracted through smartphones. These operations will be safe thanks to sophisticated tech systems. Users will be able to pay with their phones as easily as with credit cards, and the physical presence of the customer in an office would never be required. Apteligent, in the US shares a similar vision: with 62% of globe’s adult population owning a bank account, and approximately 50% of the globe’s population owning a smartphone, it is high time for financial institutions to prioritise mobile banking.
Beyond managing finances, online tools and smartphone apps can make a great difference in financial education. The spread of online learning platforms has made knowledge available for more people, from different backgrounds, age ranges and economic possibilities. Web pages like Udemy or Alisona or academic institutions like the London School of Business & Finance or Stanford University offer online courses, which fill in those gaps that might have been created during the educational years.
Likewise, there is a wide range of apps that teach children (and adults) about spending, saving, loans, investments and other aspects of personal finance: Green$treets: Unleash the Loot!, Savings Spree, Prosper Daily and P2K Money are only a few examples but the list goes way beyond this.
Together, the universalisation of knowledge and the accessibility of online tools are leading to impressive progress. Ahead of European Money Week, let’s get on board : we need to bring financial education to everyone’s reach.