For hundreds of years, banks have been building high street branches out of marble, brass and granite, striving (successfully on the whole) to create an image of solidity and certainty in an uncertain world: but most of these temples to commerce are now pubs and burger bars, because, quite frankly, who needs a branch network in a digital age? And the demise of the high street branch is also a useful trope for the future of financial services generally: a stark reminder of why Fintech and NeoPlatforms are now such an important part of our daily lives. Because banking on bricks and mortar doesn’t work anymore…it’s time to embrace the future instead.
And, for all those crusty old banks, bricks and brass are the only problems.
In a World that’s now more (digitally) connected than ever before, transferring funds from one country to another should be as seamless and efficient as taking a breath: that’s how global economies should function, and any barriers and bottlenecks to the free movement of money are a serious fetter on growth. But nobody builds those barriers and bottlenecks better than a bricks-and-mortar bank.
For example, they still have no uniform standard for international engagement: remitting banks regularly adopt data sets that can’t recognise anything other than Latin text: so if the funds are going from London to Shanghai, the correspondent bank will have to translate the signal, resulting in delay and unwarranted expense (according, to the Bank of England, up to ten times more expensive than domestic transfers (www.bankofengland.co.uk)).
Factor in too that there can be multiple correspondent banks in the chain, so delays and expenses go up exponentially. And suppose the remitting branch is physically closed, most of which are for at least twelve hours out of twenty-four. In that case, the whole process grinds to a halt: covering funds remain unassigned, leading to a liquidity choke, which gets even worse with time zone differences between the remitter and the correspondent. You couldn’t get more 1950’s if you tried…
Embracing the Future
Neo Financial Platforms don’t have any branches: they’re entirely digital, so there’s no branch network to get in the way. And their digital networks are state of the art, so they can speak to each other across borders, no matter what language the clerks are using, and no matter what time of day it might be.
At the same time, Neo Platforms also offer a full spectrum of financial services: and because they don’t have a physical network to drag around with them, they can do it all cheaper too…a perfect solution for SMEs seeking a payment gateway, smarter billing software, and multiple cash management functionalities; not to mention those retail customers who have grown used to reading e-mails in the park, and want access to their bank accounts on the same basis (when bricks and mortar banks are closed for the day). It brings a whole new meaning to customer focus…
Faster, more convenient, less expensive and a light year ahead of their granite counterparts…What’s not to like?
Cross border fund transfers are the lifeblood of commerce in our increasingly connected world: but nothing inhibits their flow quite as much as bricks and mortar banking.
Fintech and Neo Financial Platforms are providing us with the answers…
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