Simplifying life with technology.
I’ve previously written about technology and how it’s changing the way we talk and work, but I keep thinking about tonnes of other stuff and technology really is changing everything. I’m fascinated by technology and how it’s enabling us to create seamless moments, and previously unthinkable experiences.
As I sit here writing this on my iPhone 6 with its smashed screen, my 3310 is a distant memory but what a phone that was. As good as it was, in 1999 did you ever imagine being able to check your bank balance on your phone?
Pretty much everyday I check my bank balance and I do this in seconds. Remember when you had to take that anxious walk up to the ATM, enter your pin, press ‘balance’ and wait a moment whilst thinking ‘how much did I spend last night?’, ‘have I got enough money to get me through the rest of the month?’… then it appears, and suddenly you regret all of those cheeky vimtos and jaeger bombs you were buying everyone last night.
Today, with Apple Pay (when you can use it!) you receive a short notification providing you with the place and the amount you just spent. Mondo have taken this a step further by sharing daily spend.
I kind of wish I could get that for all of my transactions, so my bank account would speak directly to my phone – nobody wants to have a load of apps on their phone. Intercom made a thing of this, ‘The end of app stores’. This might be overkill but what if you could tailor this to particular credits and debits to and from your account. Have I been paid yet? Have my expenses come through? How much did that cost me? Answers to all of these questions without having to access any of your *many* banking apps.
These days we take for granted the fact that we have access to our financial life in a few taps. We can make quicker buying decisions — good for retailers, good for us to know, but not so good for our bank balance.
It’s exciting to see FinTechs spinning up and launching new experiences that remove frictions, providing a delightful experience; but I don’t think they’ll be killing off major banks anytime soon.
Banks are at a real turning point not just with FinTechs, but with PSD2 (government backed guidelines for better banking) banks are now being forced to open up access to the data they hold in customers’ accounts. Although some executives see this as a threat, I see this an opportunity, particularly with the potential for new products and services to arise off the back of data. Maybe with this change, your bank will be into you!
Thinking more recently, in the last 12 to 18 months, not only have we adopted new ways of paying for things, but also how we get from A to B. We’re now using services like Uber. We’re charging our electric cars. And, we’re allowing a car to take over control and drive for us. What a time to be alive.
On the subject of getting from A to B, what is with toll roads?! I didn’t even think about using the toll, Waze took me there. In this scenario it wasn’t ideal but Waze really has changed everything for the better. It curates real-time data from users and provides more efficient routes to get you to your destination as quickly and safely as possible, and sometimes it takes you down the toll road. So there I am driving along with my bag in the boot of my car and the embarrassing scenario of operation purse hunt at the barrier.
The job I wanted to get done was simple.
When I am driving up to a toll booth
I want to be able to drive through seamlessly without having to have my purse near me
So I can continue on a frictionless journey
And incase you were wondering, no they don’t accept Apple Pay.
Why has this experience not been improved for the safety of drivers? We have driverless cars but we can’t make the toll road experience better and more importantly, safer. Soon there will be connected cars that have access to your cards and hey presto, you’ll get straight through (I am aware that some people are privileged enough to have a pre-paid pass associated with their vehicle).
Once I’ve finished this post, I’m going to continue reading ‘The Lean Enterprise’ — the paperback version #oldskool (you would be right to assume that I’m a traditional note taker — none of that Mac in my face behaviour).
My nan on the other hand doesn’t do proper books anymore. She absolutely loves her Kindle and hasn’t read a proper book since we treated her to the Kindle for Christmas in 2014. It was difficult to teach her the basics initially but now she’s even got her friends at the 5 o’clock club in on the Kindle craze.
She lives abroad, so the 5 o’clock club is a luxury. Most days about 7 of them get together for a little drink and a chat — at 5pm. So I have strict orders of when I can and cannot FaceTime her. Omg she has an iPad too? – totally, Jean loves it. Before FaceTime I spent 3 hours attempting to teach my grandparents how to use their computer, well mostly just Skype. They just didn’t get it and after endless moments of the webcam facing the wall, us being cut off and them not being able to hear us, they got rid of their computer. With her iPad it’s a super simple process to switch it on, find one of us in Contacts and hit us up on FaceTime. So because of this invention she’s able to embrace technology.
Another thing I love about today and this goes back to 3310 days where texts cost 10p and you felt the need to put ‘tb’ at the end of every message, are messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, iMessage & WhatsApp. I can speak to my family on the other side of the world without the charges. If I want to share a funny photo of my grandparents I can, in fact I can share 20 if I want to.
Today, messaging apps are the most used apps…
And there’s no sign of this trend slowing down.
Looking back there have been some major transformations that today seem small, but at the time were huge. Now we’re looking into the future it’s super exciting to think that I might be picked up by a vehicle that I have access to through a monthly subscription, or I might spend 20 minutes charging my vehicle on my commute, I might even receive a delivery from Amazon via a drone.
The possibilities are endless and when organisations realise where they can truly make their customers lives easier, by creating those unthinkable moments through seamless tech, amazing experiences will be made.
I’m thinking, chatting and reading about this sort of thing everyday, so if you’re interested in this sort of thing too, then I’d love to say Hello and share thoughts. You can find me over here on Twitter.