Chris Skinner

When a bank disappears from sight, can it still exist as a bank? The short answer is yes, in an invisible finance world.

While I believe that banks and banking will not disappear, I do believe that most banks will. They won’t disappear completely, of course, they will just cease to be something we think about. Banking will become invisible.

The industry likes to talk about embedded banking; however, the term is not suitable as it is an inside-out view. The correct way to talk about finance being part of the fabric of our digital lives is invisible banking, which takes an outside-in view.

Invisible banking is when you live in a world without thinking about how to pay for and use things. It is where your money is all around you at all times, on devices connected via the Internet of Things. Invisible banking is where the network tells you how well your money is working and alerts you if there are things you need to know.

Invisible banking is where your finances flow freely.

Of course, there are questions we need to ask about invisible banking. How do you know when you can’t afford something? How do you know if that payment is going to push you into an overdraft? And how do you know when a bill is coming that will expose you to risk?

This is why invisible banking needs to be intelligent. So, imagine a world in the near future where you walk around with intelligent technology that is part of your being. It could be an eyepiece, an earpiece or, more likely, an embedded device, such as a chip under your skin that informs you of what is happening in your world.

Immediately and on-demand, you could book a holiday, buy a new car or a house without worrying about your finances.

You will never have to open an app to check your balance, see what’s paid by whom or track your financials. You just go about your day and let the embedded, invisible, intelligent banking service keep you informed of what you need to know.

Immediately and on-demand, you could book a holiday, buy a new car or a house without worrying about your finances.

The embedded, invisible, intelligent banking service will show you what you can afford and, if you agree, will do the rest for you. No forms to fill in, no calls to make, no meetings with people: nothing more than just saying yes. The embedded, invisible, intelligent bank will just manage everything for you.

As a person who grew up worrying about money, such a future sounds a bit scary. How do I know when my money is running out? What happens if my account is overdrawn without me knowing? Who do I call for advice?

Well, this service needs no calls. It will make sure you know if you’re running out of money and will manage any overdraft issues for you. You wouldn’t need to think or do anything about it.

That’s the real beauty of where we are heading — you won’t need to think about it, it’ll just get done.


All fields are mandatory

The Banker is a service from the Financial Times. The Financial Times Ltd takes your privacy seriously.

Choose how you want us to contact you.

Invites and Offers from The Banker

Receive exclusive personalised event invitations, carefully curated offers and promotions from The Banker

For more information about how we use your data, please refer to our privacy and cookie policies.

Terms and conditions

Top 1000 2023

Request a demonstration to The Banker Database

Join our community

The Banker on Twitter