It all started with that vintage photo of my Aunt Thelma sitting in front of something that looked like a cross between a sewing machine and a teletype. The photo was taken at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) where she was employed in the 1950s. My nephew, Dr. Paul N. Patrone, is a physicist there today. Now, it’s known as NIST. Thanks to the on-site librarian, Keith R. Martin, he discovered that my aunt was testing the durability of paper used in making money. Articles she co-authored have been cited more than 60 times — her research on paper durability paid dividends toward the future of currency.
Let’s look at the future of banking and how Citrix pays dividends there.
While we’re on the subjects of money and future value, it makes sense to talk about sustainable long-term banking models, too. Tim Minahan, Citrix’s executive vice president, business strategy and chief marketing officer, recently tweeted about a USA Today article touting the future of banking. As I read it, I lost count of the number of ways in which Citrix has the potential to help shape banks in the years to come.
The integrated Citrix technology portfolio provides end-to-end capabilities that touch every aspect of a global banking institution’s operations, from analytics to digital transformation to networking and security. Every component of the portfolio is designed to work seamlessly with the others. Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?
First, be assured that branches won’t be completely trimmed away.
A McKinsey & Company study, “A bank branch for the digital age,” was referenced as follows on the topic of branch banks: “roughly 80 percent of Americans still prefer a human touch for some or all of their banking needs. And physical locations are still important when it comes to banks selling loans, investments and advice.” That being the case, best-in-class enabling technology, such as the kind delivered by the end-to-end Citrix portfolio, will be needed to manage branch operations and data traffic to and from data centers and with the cloud.
The bank-of-the-future will house bankers who roam.
The article’s bank-of-the-future is an environment with few bank employees and numerous technology-driven selling tools. The bankers will be on their feet, enabled by a host of devices and applications.
Customer satisfaction will be dependent upon those applications being reliable, secure, and easily-accessible. Delivering proactive “mobile” capabilities is at the very core of the Citrix vision of “the future of work.” We pioneered secure mobility and access to data on any device anywhere at any time. What’s more, Citrix technology will enable banking institutions to ensure that authorized employees have access to the appropriate information based on roles and responsibilities.
There will be opportunities for casting onto the big screen.
The futuristic bank’s micro branches will have a small footprint that packs a large technology footprint including high tech kiosks and video walls. Add large screens and Citrix HDX devices to the mix and a roaming banker can use Citrix Casting technology, a self-service mechanism to cast — or auto-authenticate — apps and data from his mobile device to a larger screen for better viewing and a better customer experience.
Are rural areas new age banking’s last frontier?
Today, banking in rural areas is excruciating. In one Southside Virginia town, for example, only a single multi-national bank remains. Other financial institutions have forsaken the community’s bass fishing inhabitants and moved on to more lucrative urban areas in excess of 25 miles away. And no, those banking institutions are not reachable by boat.
The “branch in a box” described in USA Today is the perfect answer to under-served rural locales. Sans human tellers, small brick and mortar micro branches of this sort will enable patrons to securely access experts. Citrix networking technology can contribute to this by ensuring consistent high quality 24 x 7 data traffic and access to necessary apps and data. The underlying security throughout the entire Citrix portfolio means that transactions will be safe and data protected.
An evening visitor in a rural location could remotely make trades, change the distribution of money in a portfolio, wire money or even engage in a videoconference with a specialist in another time zone across the country, for example. The human touch and the ability to ask for specialized advice still would be there, but it could be delivered via computer screen.
Managing (network) traffic can be a problem.
Banks in different areas need flexibility in how they operate. What if a banking institution doesn’t want to own the network end-to-end? Citrix delivers intelligent traffic management so as to improve the customer experience over networks that banks don’t own; our technology combines real user data, application performance data and a dynamic DNS service. Banks can manage traffic across the internet and content delivery networks (CDNs) in real-time.
Mind the store – I mean the branch – with analytics.
The USA Today article’s author mentions data analytics to help institutions gauge client needs. There’s also another area in which data analysis delivers significant value. Citrix analytics capabilities provide high levels of security and insight about employee behaviors.
Banks of the future will have geographically disbursed personnel, so managers may have remote employees. There may be few opportunities for in-person supervision. Citrix Analytics will enable IT leaders to uncover anomalies in employee behavior that might otherwise go unnoticed. Behaviors such as accessing risky URLs or downloading sensitive documentation can be detected and the system could automatically implement corrective action to resolve the problem. Watch this video of PJ Hough and Jeroen van Rotterdam as they describe the full closed-loop analytics system that detects threats and automatically enforces security measures.
There’s no need to cringe when filling out and sending personal files.
For a moment, let’s look at a futuristic microbranch like we might look at a library. Libraries often have PCs and desktop computers designed for public use. Equipped with Citrix digital workspaces, not only can banks of the future offer customers the compute power to fill out online applications, but also, they can ensure that data doesn’t live on the devices they use. With digital desktops, data lives in the data center, so even if a device is stolen from the microbranch, sensitive personal information is not accessible.
Citrix also provides the technology to access, sync, and securely share files from anywhere on any device. The authorization process can be automated, too.
You want me to wait for you to log in?
Bankers don’t want to keep customers waiting as they log in. Citrix and its partners offer single sign-on capabilities so that roaming branch bankers can authenticate and gain access to apps and data quickly. Watch for information about this coming soon.
And tie it all together with a big bow, OK?
The bank of the future is coming. It will be durable and have staying power just like Aunt Thelma’s paper money. It will be designed on technology platforms that drive a great user experience, promise strong security and offer flexibility in designing the environment — just like the integrated suite of financial services solutions from Citrix.
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