Winning the Customer

November 27, 2015
/   Spotlight

It’s exhausting just trying to keep pace, let alone stay ahead. Every provider in every business feels the pinch.

Five ways payments will be different in 2024

November 24, 2015
/   Voices

Predicting the future of cash and card payment volumes is arguably a fool’s errand – but Payments UK, Britain’s new trade organisation for the industry, is in a good place to have a go...

Contactless cards: Opt-in or opt-out?

/   Voices

Australia is toying with the idea of creating an opt-in function for contactless cards, in a move that highlights the problems around coping with new payment technology and how fraud risks are handled.

Five EMV lessons for the US

/   Voices

The EMV liability shift has occurred in the US, so what can we expect to see happen in the coming months and years as a result of this change?

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

Ok, so the Apple TV is finally here. But how does that matter to us? Does this belong on a blog for financial services professionals?

If you do a web search for “Apple TV – financial services,” there’s almost nothing that relates directly to the subject. That’s because the TV is, well, a TV—an entertainment device designed for sit-back consumption, not lean-forward engagement. It’s a world apart from the digital experience of the modern era, right?

Sure, Apple has repeatedly revolutionized just about every other kind of digital experience—the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad each radically altered not only the way we absorb content but engage in interaction with people and institutions. Hype aside, each new Apple release has played a critical role in changing human behavior (in fairness, the jury’s still out on the Apple Watch.)

But in this case, even Apple seems to be hedging its bets on how different the experience might be. Sure, the company says viewers will feel “fully immersed,” and Siri is around to ease the crushing burden of scrolling and button pushing. The remote has a touch surface, there’s voice activation, you can bounce between apps and customize the home screen. The whole thing is like an experience that “makes you feel like you’re interacting directly with the screen, even though it’s on the other side of the room.”

Let’s acknowledge that, like most Apple releases, it’s pretty cool. The early adopters will eat it up, other companies will scramble to develop their own versions, and TV watching will be easier. But is that all there is? And does it feel slightly underwhelming?

Here’s another way to look at it, and it has to do with financial services.

As consumers, we’ve long relied on a few fundamental electronics devices, and arguably the three most prominent are the phone, the computer and the TV. (Yes, there are many others with more specific functions.) Of those three, think how much the computer and the phone have changed in the past two decades.

Some early PCs weighed enough to crush solid desks, and that landline phone from the early ‘90s belongs in a museum now. Today, they’re all sleek, portable accessories that serve up every kind of work and play functionality.

In the process, they’ve become critical to our line of work. Each successive wave of online banking, and then mobile banking, has drastically changed the most basic banking practices. Every financial services institution now has extensive resources devoted to both corporate and individual clients who interact almost exclusively through digital channels.

Throughout all this, the TV hasn’t changed much. The picture is sharper, the screen is flatter, and there are many more channels. But it’s still that device across the room we use to mindlessly consume entertainment. So what’s new?

Apple points to the future by saying it’s “all about apps.” However, most of the apps it cites already exist in other forms—the new technology brings them to the TV, which means we can see on the big screen what we saw on the small screen. But surely there’s potential for a lot more.

So here’s the big question: Could the next generation of TVs—and maybe Apple TV is just the start—revolutionize banking as much as computers and phones have?

Imagine apps that allow consumers to gain visual contact with tellers and investment advisers at their bank of choice (which may be halfway around the world). Conceive of a scenario in which an individual sees an ad for a product, calls up an investment picture for the company behind it, consults an adviser and makes a stock purchase—all while ‘watching TV.’

Even this sounds pretty basic. The truth is that each new wave of technology in other areas has ushered in a series of app-enabled capabilities that only seemed obvious after they arrived. So far, however, these advances have largely bypassed TV. That’s remarkable, given how much time we devote to watching it. All the entertainment it brings us is fine, but there are other potential services that the market will embrace.

Ultimately, the TV set is one more form factor offering a wealth of opportunities for new capabilities, just like those other devices we never thought we’d use for banking. The fact that it’s big, offers great visuals and is firmly embedded in the home makes it fertile ground for innovation.  We just don’t know what kind. . .yet.

Apple TV comes with a new operating system and a comprehensive software development kit that’s already in the hands of many developers. Rival offerings will soon arrive with their own incarnations of the same advantages. There will inevitably be a flood of applications that enable new capabilities, for financial services and many other industries. The only question is when these practices become widely adopted, and which institutions will be the first to profit from it. Any guesses?


Insights’s perspective on industry news and trends



Must-read news and insights from financial industry leaders



Compelling voices and contributed content from around the web

James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Brad Strothkamp

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.