Flying cars may or may not be a reality in the future, but flying banks certainly can be. Technology and innovation have helped us make great strides in banking. Instead of visiting a bank, we can now conduct most operations on our desktops and smartphones. However, there are still some things that warrant a bank visit or at least a visit to the ATM.
ATMs themselves have also undergone considerable change. We have all heard of mobile ATMs—vans fitted with ATM machines—but two years ago a Polish bank found a more innovative way of dispensing cash. The Idea Bank started a service where small businesses could avail of cash-car services. Much like a pizza delivery, a car laden with a cash deposit machine would reach them within 30 minutes of placing a request! Companies are now looking to go beyond cash-cars and relying on drones to provide the same level of service. So, a cash order will be delivered on a drone carrying only limited currency.
But the development of service depends on the success of Domino’s Pizza and Amazon. While drones have been a buzzword for quite a long time now, not many have tried to incorporate them into their business model. Last year, Amazon announced delivery via drones in the US and UK markets, but was only successful in implementing it in the UK, making its first delivery in December. On the other hand, Domino’s is yet to start operations. If these companies are successful in their ventures, it would pave the way for a new delivery model, which could lead to banks using drones as ATMs.
A flying cash machine is only one of the functions that a drone can provide. A recent report from CII-PwC highlights that use-cases for drones can go beyond surveying. Drones can be deployed for collection and delivery of documents, documenting of accidents in case of auto-insurance claims, and assessment of property for loans and claims. India announced the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for assessment and surveillance for crop insurance, last year. In this case, insurance companies use drones for agriculture surveys and for payment of insurance in case of a crop failure.
Technology has made it easier to cut human interaction in banking and insurance. While it has certainly added to the speed and efficacy, drone deployment can further this process. Although the idea is a bit far-fetched as drones can add no real value except for surveying and delivery, but then again not many had imagined a future where mobile-phones could double up as banks. As we move further away from physical banking, a future where flying machines provide services won’t be an absurd notion. Don’t be surprised if the next job application for a bank demands a flying experience.