The digitalization of banking began in the 1950s and made possible all subsequent innovations of this overview.
1. Digitalization of Banks – 1950s
The introduction of information technology, first with punch cards in the 1950s, was as important as setting standards in this area. For example, the standard for machine-readable characters in the United States for use with cheques in 1959 allowed automated reader-sorter machines. In the 1960s, magnetic tapes superseded punch cards as the next step in the evolution of digital finance. At the end of the 1960s, banks moved to IT-supported core banking applications (recording of transactions, calculations of interest, balance of payments, etc.) and made these services available through different channels (branches, ATMs and later home banking). The move from analogue to digital included more and more processes from the back, middle and front office – a shift which has not yet ended. Recent trends include decentralization or outsourcing, even core services, and moving to the cloud.
Generation Z is the newest generation – currently coming of age. They were born between 1999 and 2015. Alone in the US, there are now more than 60 million Generation Z individuals.
Gen Z’s predecessor, the millennials, have been thoroughly studied by marketing
departments worldwide and the media have created an obsession around them, the
newest generation is still under-researched.
The cryptocurrency bitcoin has not only popularized blockchain technology but overshadows it to such an extent that for some people bitcoin and blockchain are synonymous. Others brush the blockchain aside for ostensibly lacking a meaningful use case beyond cryptocurrencies.
This is a shame. Blockchain technology, even without cryptocurrencies, has many wide ranging applications of possibly revolutionary consequences for governments, financial services, insurances, organizations in general, trade and the supply chain, energy and infrastructure – to name only the main areas.