The 21st century is rightly known as the digital era. Within a short period, technology has taken over the major aspects of our lives. As technology continues to advance, it is making some of the most mundane daily life tasks pretty effortless. Right from buying groceries to setting up your own business, everything is possible at the click of a button.
As this wave of technology continues to sweep our daily lives and digital transformation takes over various medium and small-scale businesses, why should banks be left behind? This digital revolution has completely changed the way banks functioned a decade ago and has been instrumental in introducing us to what we know now as digital banking.
What is digital banking?
Digital Banking is the digitization of all traditional banking activities and programs that traditionally were only available to customers when they physically visited any of the bank’s branches. It includes online activities like funds transfer, loan management, bill payments, opening new accounts, non-financial activities like address change or requesting checkbooks, and a host of other account management services.
The introduction of digital banking has made life hassle-free for all its users. Now, customers do not need to stand in long queues for hours at the bank counters for something as simple as cash withdrawal, bill payments, or address change. The recent pandemic has made everyone realize the power of technology and also the plethora of benefits that come with using technology the right way.
Here are the ten features of digital banking that make it an absolute winner over traditional banking:
1. Online Banking
Online banking allows customers the luxury of banking anytime, anywhere. Some of the most common online banking features and services include:
- Fund transfer (now available 24×7 with IMPS)
- Viewing bank transaction history
- Printing account statements and balances
- Transfer of funds from one account to the other
- Bill payments viz., credit cards, electricity.
- Recharge for mobile phones, broadband and DTH connections, etc.
2. Personal Financial Planning
Through digital banking services, banks provide several financial planning tools to their customers. These include loan calculators, budgeting, and taxation tools to help customers analyze their investments, or invest in new funds. As a result of these tools, most of the personal financial planning can be done efficiently without the need to personally visit the bank.
3. Unified Payment System (UPI)
Unified Payments Interface is an instant real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India. This service facilitates inter-bank transactions. As a result of the integration of the UPI with digital banking solutions, the customers can now easily transfer money from one account to another.
4. Digital Wallet
Gone are the days when people had to carry cash to buy things. The introduction of a digital wallet has made life quite easy for the customers as they can pay for all their requirements by simply using their smartphone. Some of the most popular e-wallets include Paytm, MobiKwik, and Jio Money.
5. Rewards and Loyalty Programs
To engage better with their customers, banks keep announcing rewards and loyalty programs. Such programs allow customers to earn points based on their monthly activities within the bank’s network as well as its partners. Customers can later redeem these points and use them like cash for purchasing various products.
6. Non-Internet Based Phone Banking
Consumer banking is now available on devices that do not have an internet connection. These services include gathering required information through SMS, missed call, and USSD banking. These services can be accessed from even the remotest of areas since they do not require an internet connection. To top it all, these are free services and all transactions are completely cashless.
7. Mobile Banking
Mobile Banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution that allows its customers to conduct financial transactions using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. The banks create user-friendly apps that allow customers to bank efficiently from the comfort of their homes.
8. Automatic Bill Payments
Almost a decade ago, bill payment was a cumbersome task. Thanks to the digital revolution, all bills can now be paid with just a click. These days banks allow customers to link their bills directly to their bank accounts. This helps in receiving timely reminders for bill payments which aid in clearing all bills on time.
9. Secure Message Alerts
One of the most important features of digital banking is the secure message alert. These alert messages are received by the customers even when the slightest change is made in their accounts. These alert messages can be life-saving for the account holder in case some suspicious activities are identified in his/her account.
10. Dedicated Remote Advisor
Remote banking aims to make the banking experience seamless and hassle-free for all its customers by dedicating a digital relationship manager for all its services at all times. Through remote banking, customers can enjoy the privileges of all financial and service transactions from the comfort of their homes.
With all these features, digital banking undoubtedly has an edge over traditional banking practices. Not only is digital banking simple and hassle-free, but the level of transparency offered through digital banking services is also unmatched. With rapid technological developments, digital banking is bound to grow by leaps and bounds and the time is not far when all traditional banking services will completely shift online.
Digital banking can create a revolution in the field of banking. As the world adjusts to the new normal, the role of digitization in making life simpler becomes even more crucial. Right from the roadside vendor to influential business tycoons, the digital revolution is bound to affect one and all. Keeping all the above-mentioned points in mind, one can safely say that digital banking is not a fleeting trend and it is here to stay.