Banks, technology and your dividends
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Christine St Anne is Morningstar's online editor.
There was a time when banking was primarily done in a local branch within the rigid timeframe of 9am to 4:30pm, with branches closed on the weekends.
Bank customers had paper passbooks to record their everyday transactions, while piggy banks were seen as a form of savings vehicle.
Today, the internet has revolutionised the way people approach their banking.
Mobile phones and the internet have replaced passbooks, while piggy banks have become items of nostalgia.
According to research from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the prime periods when people process their banking are before 9am and after 5pm.
The bank found that 52,655 customers log into its NetBank every 20 minutes. Within the same period, 57 customers would have downloaded a CommBank mobile application and 38 would have applied for a new product.
The internet has also led to massive structural changes for the retail and media sectors, leaving current business models virtually redundant.
While these two sectors struggle for reinvention, the banking sector also faces significant changes under the internet revolution.
The four major banks have all adopted internet banking. However, newly emerging forms of technology means this revolution will be ongoing.
Already, the four major banks offer their customers a plethora of services and applications in internet and mobile banking, from everyday transaction banking and virtual payments, to the ability to find the closest ATM.
The crucial role of technology in banking was something former CBA chief executive Ralph Norris had seen five years ago when he launched the Core Bank Modernisation program, CBA's billion-dollar-plus technology overhaul.