With the rapid progression of technology, we are starting to see a number of professions becoming redundant. Supermarkets now have self check out machines for example. Is this an improvement on our daily lives? Will it last? Or will it continue to progress.
Recently I have looked into the area of Internet Banking. Banks have been around in some form of or another for hundred of years. But most recently Banks have gone digital. How has this impacted the profession? As a child, I remember going to my local AIB branch. As I sat at some play area with that weird block on a spiral bar toy, I remember the long queues that seems never-ending. A number of windows with bank tellers sat and sorted your finances and converted your currency ect. It seemed like Hell on earth.
Now, recently I had to make a deposit. I recalled the torturous events of my childhood visits and sought other options. Give the cash to my dad , he’ll transfer it from his account to mine. Simples! Then I was told that banks had changed. Now ‘you’re in and out in 5 minutes’. Curious, although hesitant, I went to investigate.
The place formerly seen as Hell was now vacant of all souls. Two windows (There had previously been 6 window) now had 2 employees waiting to talk to you about your money. In the place of the 4 other windows, now sat 4 machines. Self service banking. A reverse atm if you will. You give the machine your card, you give the machine your money and in seconds you have made a lodgement. Same goes for Cheques. I was out in 5 minutes. Important to note is that child’s toy was now gone. Guess no one is in the bank long enough to need their child distracted.
Internet banking follows the same ethos, making banking easier. Typing in a code and you have access to your personal finances, your loan accounts. Transfers, direct debits, paying bills. All on your smartphone.
The creation of Internet Banking and Banking Machines, have led to less staff employed by AIB. Although some staff do remain. Some bank tellers still sat at their windows to help those who may not feel comfortable give cash to a machine. Or need further assistance.
Is this a positive change? I believe so. Many technological advancement have been for efficiency and the betterment of lifestyle. A machine counting your money won’t make errors that a human working a long day might make. A machine can process faster, less time consuming for the costumer. Internet banking allows you to do your banking 24/7. No longer are you restricted by opening times or bank holidays.
While this may have resulted in a loss of jobs in the financial sector, it has also created new jobs for those who manage the servers. Those who manage the machines. But the days of bank teller may be coming to an end.