THE biggest financial changes predicted for 2018 by comparison website Mozo include bank fee money saving options and further technology changes.
1. Less ATMs
Stop looking for bank ATMs wherever you are; they are becoming a thing of the past. Mozo expects banks will start merging their ATMs into a network under one brand - they will no longer be associated with banks. This will also mean fewer ATMs because banks will no longer be able to charge for ATM usage.
2. Goodbye international transfer fees
More apps will remove currency exchange fees, enabling consumers to exchange and spend money with no fees. Revolut, which is in Europe and expected in Australia in 2018, is one of major changes to shake up Australian foreign money transfers and exchange.
3. Credit cards waving or drowning
The number of credit cards held by Australians is dropping with many rewards schemes barely worth having due to paltry rewards and competing payment systems available, like Afterpay.
Mozo expects more credit card issuers will offer payment plans like layby with lower interest rates. The banks are likely to find new ways to make the traditional card more appealing, however, whether they will succeed remains the big question.
4. Better payment technology
In 2017 there was major adoption of mobile payment technology and ways to pay via your phone. Mozo predicts that will continue to grow and diversify in 2018. Afterpay enjoyed immense popularity in 2017.
Mozo expects consumers will be offered even more ways to pay, on a timeline that suits them, via the means they find most comfortable, whether that's through an app, their credit card or a direct debit from their bank.
5. Lower bank charges
Banks are expected to be feeling the heat from the start of next month's Royal Commission, which may mean less rate hikes and competitive pressure on rates to stay low for lower risk borrowers. Mozo expects there will also be downward pressure on bank fees with banks no longer able to structure their fees as they please. For example, charges that consumers encounter on an everyday basis, particularly for tap and go transactions, will be questioned in the next six months.
6. Money management apps the norm
Managing money through your phone and see how your spending your dollars will become commonplace. Some banks will offer a budgeting layer and money management apps like Pocketbook will increase their market presence.
7. Open banking on the cards
If you have accounts with several banks, you will be able to share data across those various banks, much like a third party financial app like Pocketbook. If you want to switch banks, they can share data in a much more seamless way, allowing you to make the change effortlessly.
8. Customised pricing based on credit ratings
Positive credit reporting will enable banks to target desirable customers by offering lower rates, while customers with poor credit history with be offered higher rates.
9. Immediate money transfers
The big four banks, as well as 50 smaller institutions, will offer instant money transfer courtesy of a billion-dollar technology upgrade. So, whether it's a split meal or a movie date, you can expect money transferred to your account to arrive within seconds.
10. Less branches
In 2017 Westpac shut down 20 branches and this trend can be expected to continue with the big four banks.
Banks will be relying on on mortgage brokers to get new customers for home loans.
The prediction is a bank model of a number of ATM's plus a number of general service and advice staff, and fewer tellers. Self-service will become recognised as the new norm for banking.
For more information on financial trends and products, go to Mozo.com.au.