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The Bank of the Future: 2040 and the Reality of AR and VR

Rantings - the bank of the future?

Mark, when I envision the bank of the future, I imagine Twiki and Buck Rogers at a casino. Or maybe I once dreamed that—I’m old and my mind is going. So what are we talking about and what can we envision when it comes to the bank of the future? And by future, I’m talking about 2040, before certain cities might be flooded (by water). But I digress, as this isn’t a post about climate change.

Mark Ranta: 2040? By 2040, I will be a long-standing member of AARP and taking advantage of my discounted coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts!

Dan Ring: I do love AARP (full disclosure, I’m not there yet). But this isn’t a peak into what the “golden years” look like for you, and I hope/imagine those years will look rosy. Let’s redirect you toward the topic, banking in 2040!

MR: I am still thinking about a Large Iced with a turbo boost… But yes, banking in 2040 will finally get us to the idea that banking will be something that we as consumers do; it won’t be a destination.

What about the ATM?

The ATM will move from a physical iteration that serves many to a solution for one.

What do you mean by that? Will we see an end to physical currency and cold hard cash? If yes, how will we pay for rickshaw rides in New Orleans?

While I would love to call for the death of cash, which I am guessing will happen in my lifetime (but maybe more like 2060 or 70ish), there will still be a need for physical cash and coin; however, advancements in 3-D printing will likely render the need for central distribution unnecessary, so if you need a physical payment token, you’ll likely just print it before you run out of the house.

So will the treasury department be in cahoots with the 3-D printing companies?

They’ll actually become “software companies,” where if you need to print cash or coin, you get it from them to print at home. Think of how much money could actually be saved when you can switch from the capital-intensive issuance process we have today with something driven by software and technology. Much of what is done today could be replaced by simple automation!

What pieces do you think will be replaced by automation?

The easiest place to look is distribution of currency. If 3-D printing delivers on its promises, the need to distribute currency from a central location to all parts of the country disappears. The need to physically print cash also disappears and the costs can then be offloaded to the end users of cash and coin (and think about the cost of material there).

What kind of impact could that have on the workforce?

As with anything, it will certainly be a shift, but in theory, it could free up a lot of capital and value, which could be aimed at more high return items further up the value chain.

Such as?

Personalization of experiences, better ROI and the ability to do more R&D. We’re seeing the start of this today with branch closures and a focus on digital transformation and self-service platforms in banking.

So back to the bank of the future?

Let’s first think about where AR and VR will take us. It’s going to quickly move beyond roller coaster and scuba diving experiences we see today… and start linking experiences with digital augmentation in real-time with useful bits and bytes of information. It isn’t a toy anymore, but rather a platform to use to expand services.

Are you bullish on AR and VR becoming that prevalent in 23 years?

How old are those kids who were hanging out in arcades in the 1980s?

All I can think of is Stranger Things. But good question; they’ll be in their mid-60s. Wow!

The generations that grew up “gaming” will be the driving force of the economy. From the Gen Xers to Millennials to the Gen Z cohort… the cohort that grew up with video games and the early iterations of VR and AR.

Is that Gen X, Millennials or Gen Z?

It’s the trifecta—all of ‘em. Our current scoffing of VR has much more to do with our memories being blemished by its early iteration(s). Today’s development and explorer programs are nothing like Weird Science.

Ooh, Kelly Lebrock!

So, the general value is the ability to centralize talent and realize the vision of the Universal Banker because the technology can/will be able to support the vision.

So in 23 years, we’re talking about AR and VR and AI. And in 2018, we’re talking about AR and VR and AI, but I know we’re still in a period of nascence.

Well AR and VR will simply be known as reality in 23 years.


And let’s just hope that AI is not just I… or we’re all doomed!

And some of us might be under water, but that’s another topic for another time.