The discussion at American Banker’s annual Digital Banking Conference in Austin last week revolved around new technologies like AI and blockchain and the future of customer experience. Banks of all sizes have implemented some level of technology in recent years, almost all have mobile apps and they have begun the process of digitizing their core functions.
There were also a lot of lessons from non-banks that were on display, Starbucks mobile payments adoption and p2p payments app Venmo were popular discussion points on the keynote stage. Starbucks has seen over 40% of the 55 million U.S. smartphone users make an in-store mobile payment through the Starbucks’s app at least once in the last 6 months. Venmo’s payment volume continues to rise, even with competition from Zelle, and it was interesting to hear where the idea came from. Venmo founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail explained that he and fellow co-founder Andrew Kortina thought of the idea because paying one another back was awkward. They devised an app where you can exchange money quickly without having the awkward conversation.