29 Jun 2017 • 2mins •

9 innovations in the history of banking and where they brought us today


It’s 50 years since the first cash machines hit the streets of London. At the time, it was a huge step towards banking automation and one of the great leaps since the first wired money transfer nearly a century before it.

In the face of today’s rapid innovation, it’s hard to imagine what people envisioned for the next five decades — let alone the next century — as cash points filled the streets, phone lines replaced branch queues, and plastic pushed its way into a world of paper and coins. Together, debit cards, online and mobile banking paved the way for contactless payments, disrupting a form of currency thousands of years old in a couple of decades. Today, a fifth of UK consumers say they’d go completely cash free if they could and that number is only expected to grow.

Ten years have passed since contactless payments were introduced in the UK, and if the years that followed say anything about the future, we’re looking toward a period of escalating, convenience-driven digitisation in the way we handle and manage our money: Mobile-only banks (57% of UK smart phone users report having used mobile banking at least once), aggregated account data, and industry-shaking trends in Fintech are emerging here and now.

But perhaps more telling than all of that, are the recent developments in banking digitisation that have actually brought us back to a more human-centred approach to money management - one guided by community, conversation, and personalisation. With open banking waiting for us on the horizon of 2018, new services and apps (like Yolt!) pave the way for a hyper-personalised, insightful, and actionable approach to money management. As for the next 50 years, only time - and the limit of our imaginations - will tell.

Which leap in banking innovation has had the greatest impact on you and your money management? For that matter, what are you most looking forward to? Take a look at our timeline below and share your thoughts with us at hello@yolt.com. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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The Yolt Team

Learn more from our sources:

Mobile banking 2017 newer technologies

Mobile banking 2017 cashless society

History of cards

Who launched the UKs first internet bank

Brits spend record £1bn on contactless cards in a month

History online banking