it is probably not the fullest picture that those who use cash and frequent ATMs are not digital friendly or are but haven’t fully embraced digital. But that is not the point. We need to address the why of digital (that would need an essay of essays, but let’s be economical). If we go back to SMS banking and then move onto Internet banking, with which the GCASH revolution was coinciding (not to speak of PayPal), we are all in a muddle. But digital banking did arise in a somewhat chaotic manner. It has meandered along for a fairly long time and continues to serve customers moderately well. There are problems, including what appears to be a growing pile of paper every time you open a paperless account. And there is cash.
Digital, above all, enables disparate entities to talk to one another and make processes easier (or create new possibilities, hopefully not new bureaucracies). Now that may include an end-user app-but one of the greatest engineering firms on Earth, Intel, was never front-facing. Do we often let our egos run away with ourselves? The choices we make impact people whose lives do not intersect with us. So it makes sense that we spend time among people, in markets, on public transit and at cafes which didn’t emerge from grunge capitals. What are people telling us and can we transmit that back into organizations and the industry as it is?
It is not clear why digital is positioned as anti-cash. People should have choice and digital should be about providing better processes and enhancing those choices. Despite several rounds of “war on cash”, people show they are equally adept at using both #cash and #digital and can decide what to do when. We read books and surf the internet. We play soccer and online games. This is natural human behavior. What’s wrong with that? If we want to influence how people behave, great – but let’s just say the menu runs over for John and Jane. Try commuting at 6 am and 9 pm. So let’s leave them with the app and the cash – what’s the problem? You might get an extremely loyal customer who puts that cash to work in a deposit.
Above all, we need backups when systems crash and in an energy stressed world, who’s to say digital is not skating on thin ice?
Note-The above blog expresses the purely personal opinion of the author and not the companies he is associated with in any way. He does not recommend, endorse or advise on any purchases of stock of companies mentioned here and this blog is not intended to solicit clients or provide investment advice of any kind.