The future of banking appears to be now.
JPMorgan Chase announced the hiring of Susan Erlich as senior vice president of next generation payments last week. With more than a decade of experience at Citibank and Providian Financial, Erlich will be responsible for overseeing the bank's creation of new payments services and solutions for consumers, businesses and merchants.
A few years ago, Erlich's title wouldn't have even existed at banks, but today, this kind of position is crucial to continue to push personal banking tools forward. Financial institutions are focused on adding the innovative tools that will make banking more convenient for customers -- and of course, more cost-effective for the organization as a whole.
The announcement has me curious of what this "next generation" of banking will look like. Online banking has become the most popular way of managing money, but what's next for the capabilities of making payments and transfers via the Internet? Will we sync our checking accounts with our Facebook pages? Will branch locations become obsolete as account holders turn to their computers and phones for their personal finances? Will paper checks even exist? Will customer service departments at banks simply be automated online systems?
Regardless of the tools and changes, we'll certainly see new fees. As the banking industry continues to evolve, all of us are coming to terms with the reality that convenience comes with a price tag. From fees for using your debit card to fees for printing out your monthly checking account statement, the current generation of personal finance is helping banks to gauge just how much they can charge their customers.
What does the "next generation" of banking look like to you? What kind of payment services and products would be available in your banking fantasyland? And more importantly, what are you willing to pay for them?