How digital connectivity is changing the way we think about money

From retail to entertainment and even healthcare, virtually every part of our lives has experienced a shift to digital – but perhaps none more so than banking and finance.

Society’s demand for greater transparency, the decline of cash-based transactions and the growing incompatibility of branch-based servicing with modern life have opened the market for many new players and triggered a surge in innovation from leading high street banks.  

The progress made by the industry means that customers are now able to manage practically every aspect of their financial lives using a computer or smart device. In the past year, this increased accessibility has become an essential service, allowing people to manage their money during lockdown.

And it has proven to be popular amongst consumers, with the UK ranking amongst the highest nation’s for online banking adoption in Europe with 80% of British adults using these services.

The possibilities afforded by online banking has even sparked a wave of new players known as challenger banks, with many turning away from branch-based banking to those operating solely online or through an app.

This has triggered some welcome disruption in the space, putting pressure on traditional banks to improve their mobile banking services and digital offering. As a result, customers can now access a much wider range of services, including ‘polymorphic’ debit cards, which protect consumers with new layers of data security.

Supporting the continued growth of the financial sector and giving consumers choice is just one of the reasons why CityFibre is investing up to £4 billion in rolling out the best network technology available – full fibre – to up to 8 million homes across towns and cities like Peterborough.

Investment in digital infrastructure ensures that more citizens can benefit from a range of online banking services as they become increasingly available and transformative.

Online banking has paved the way for many other positive developments in personal finance. One of the more recent has been the legislative changes around open banking, and the new services this has resulted in for consumers.

In simple terms, open banking provides a more secure and convenient way for you to share financial information with chosen organisations. It represents a significant change for a sector like banking, and for consumers it could widen access to products like credit and financial advice.

But for banks and financial institutions, ultra-low latency, secure data transfer, and the ability to guarantee connections are critical. At CityFibre, the clever design of our networks means that if there’s a break in one connection, it can instantly be rerouted via another. We’re also constantly monitoring our networks, so problems are detected and fixed rapidly.

Ultimately, the future of banking and finance is digital, and as innovation and adoption gathers even greater pace, the digital infrastructure underpinning the sector is too important to fail. By futureproofing our towns and cities with full fibre foundations, CityFibre is helping to bridge the gap between the haves and have nots, while ensuring there’s network capacity to support our growing data consumption, and the needs of savvy spenders and savers in Peterborough.

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