Leader comment: Banks should not move too quickly into the future

Phone-banking has reduced the need for cash machines (Picture: AFP/Getty)
Phone-banking has reduced the need for cash machines (Picture: AFP/Getty)
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The future will undoubtedly be cashless for fairly simple financial reasons.

Virtual wealth – rather than coins and notes – has long been the stuff that makes the world go round, while hard cash costs money to make and requires considerable infrastructure – like banks and ATMs. The age of online banking is bringing huge saving for financial institutions.

READ MORE: 1p and 2p coins could be axed in move towards cashless society

However, banks should take care not to move too quickly into the future. For many people, branches still provide a vital service and any closures will cause significant problems. So the “hostility” faced by staff on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s mobile banking service on Barra, which led to its suspension, could have been predicted.

Customers should remember frontline staff are not responsible for such decisions and vent any frustrations in a civil manner. But banks should take note.

Gaining a reputation for a lack of care for customers is not a good policy for any business. The internet-savvy young generation may not be directly affected, but their parents’ and grandparents’ experiences could well affect their choices.

READ MORE: Bill Jamieson: Predictions of a cashless society are premature