The age of digital finance is well underway! While banking online through both apps and browsers has certainly been possible for longer than many people might remember, recent global shifts have only helped to build a thirst for virtual finance. Of course, even more, interesting is the fact that an increasing number of banking executives are really pushing the digital angle — but why?

As with all societal shifts, there are several reasons why digital banking is growing in popularity. Highly successful executives, such as Julio Herrera Velutini, write regularly on the virtues of app banking. Having set up Britannia Group in 2009, Herrera Velutini knows more than most when it comes to emerging trends in consumer finance.

But what are some of the major trigger points for this digital revolution among banking execs?

COVID-19 changed the game

In the years since the COVID-19 pandemic first locked down towns and cities around the world, society has effectively adapted in the wake of an unknown entity. On the heels of the virus’ spread, we are all more in tune with digital alternatives to physical money handling. Handling public money was, at the height of the rising pandemic, a no-no. For some time, no one was sure how fast the virus could be spread through physical contact.

Due to this concern, the world turned to digital banking and apps. Post-lockdown, a noted increase in non-paper and non-physical transactions has boomed worldwide. Even following the end of formal lockdowns, this has settled into the public psyche. Crucially, the digital revolution sped up thanks to the pandemic — and banking executives are catching up.

Digitalization of banking, and all finance in general, has always been in the cards. However, banking execs are now taking larger strides to serve consumers thanks to the breakneck pace at which adoption is increasing.

Cryptocurrency is a threat

While cryptocurrency values and market performance will always rise and fall, traditional banking and fiat transactions are under considerable pressure from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The appeal of cryptocurrencies lies in the fact that they are unregulated and decentralized, offering greater privacy and faster transactions through a lack of red tape.

For fiat bankers and executives, this is a potentially dangerous scenario. While society is still some way from cryptocurrency going ‘fully mainstream’, traditional financiers are racing to get ahead of the crypto revolution. For example, bankers are working to produce apps and digital services that focus on providing convenience similar to that offered by crypto.

For many people investing and trading in crypto, convenience is at the top of the priority list. With that in mind, executives continue to push a digital angle to help keep fiat transactions relevant and easy to manage. Above all, digital financiers are working to eat away at the crypto boom, and to help keep people interested (and invested) in their standard accounts and portfolios.

While crypto’s place in the world is volatile, it is certainly here to stay. For that reason, the smartest executives are embracing the digital platforms available for fiat as much as physically possible.

Digital is the new norm

Decades ago — perhaps even only a few years ago — physical banking was the ‘norm’. To perform most transactions, people would typically need to head to their local branch or bank to deposit money, pay bills, move funds and even consult managers and executives.

The digital revolution is changing what we all see as the ‘standard’ for banking. Using an app to move money between accounts, to pay invoices and even to make large investments is considered quick and easy. Even speaking with an account manager, broker or executive is easier than ever thanks to video calling and online chat functionality.

The point here, ultimately, is that the future has already arrived. While there will always be a need for physical banking to some extent, it’s common for people to make financial decisions — and take financial action — from the comfort of their homes or on the go through smartphones and tablets.

As mentioned above, COVID-19 has exacerbated this trend to a huge extent, but given that much of our lives are now ‘fully digital’, this shift was always expected. It is perhaps not so much that banking executives are ‘just’ getting into digital banking, but that they have finally accepted that it’s time to catch up to the masses.

Millions of us rely on digital banking to some extent. Whether you log in to online banking via a laptop or manage your payments via an app, you are part of the revolution.

The next stages in the revolution are likely to envelop AI and machine learning, but in the here and now, banking executives are embracing simple digital finance more than ever.