Fewer ATMs, more fin­ger­prints in the fu­ture

The Daily Examiner - - LIFE FINANCES - AN­THONY KEANE

BANK­ING will be in the spot­light this year, and not just from next month’s royal com­mis­sion. Big changes for money are on the way, say fi­nan­cial ser­vices spe­cial­ists, as new tech­nolo­gies and mar­ket forces re­shape bank­ing.

“Peo­ple can po­si­tion them­selves to ben­e­fit from the changes,” said Peo­ple’s Choice Credit Union spokesman Stu­art Sy­mons.

Fast pay­ments will be one of the first moves, en­abling im­me­di­ate money trans­fers as BSBs and ac­count num­bers get re­placed by email ad­dresses and phone num­bers as “PayIDs”.

“You can only link one ac­count with each PayID so get it right early,” Mr Sy­mons said.

Other key bank­ing changes to put on your radar in­clude:

1 FEWER ATMS

Com­par­i­son web­site Mozo.com.au says you can say good­bye to an ATM on ev­ery street cor­ner.

“We ex­pect the banks will be­gin the process of amal­ga­mat­ing their ATMs into one net­work un­der one brand,” said Mozo di­rec­tor Kirsty La­mont. She said there will be fewer ATMs due to the banks’ in­abil­ity to charge for ATM us­age, and fewer branches.

2 LOWER FEES AND CHARGES

Ms La­mont said Fe­bru­ary’s royal com­mis­sion would put heat on the banks, mean­ing fewer rate rises and down­ward pres­sure on fees.

“Charges that many con­sumers en­counter on an ev­ery­day ba­sis, par­tic­u­larly for tap and go trans­ac­tions, will be se­ri­ously ques­tioned.”

3 TRANS­FER FEES SCRAPPED

In­ter­na­tional money trans­fer costs have dropped in re­cent months as banks bowed to pres­sure from con­sumers and non-bank providers, and more falls are fore­cast.

Ms La­mont said new apps that al­lowed peo­ple to trans­fer money over­seas without any fees were on the way.

4 CREDIT CARDS CRUNCHED

Credit card is­suers will try to woo con­sumers af­ter their re­ward pro­grams were wa­tered down dra­mat­i­cally in 2017.

“Many re­wards schemes are barely worth hav­ing,” Ms La­mont said.

Mr Sy­mons said he ex­pected credit card re­wards to dwin­dle fur­ther this year. “But …we ex­pect com­pe­ti­tion to heat up over low-rate and busi­ness cards,” he said.

5 CRYP­TOCUR­RENCY CLOSES IN

Bit­coin ma­nia may be pure spec­u­la­tion but the tech­nol­ogy be­hind it – blockchain or shared pub­lic ledger – al­lows ef­fi­cient and se­cure trans­ac­tions.

Finder.com.au spokes­woman Bessie Has­san said her firm’s re­cent sur­vey of economists found that 94 per cent ex­pected blockchain to have wide­spread use in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor and econ­omy.

6 BIO­MET­RIC PAY­MENTS

Ms Has­san said bank­ing apps were fol­low­ing phones by in­tro­duc­ing tech­nol­ogy that read our fin­ger­prints and faces in­stead of ac­count pass­words.

“Fin­ger­print, iris or faces­can­ning in banks… are far more se­cure forms of au­tho­ri­sa­tion than cards with pin codes,” she said.

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