Consumer retail banking is what most of us know simply as banking, or managing our money in a larger sense — the process by which individual consumers use bank branches or services to open accounts, take out loans, set up credit and debit cards, deposit checks, etc. The consumer retail banking industry is highly regulated and has been historically resistant to innovation, but both governments and financial technology companies have recently begun to push forward some interesting and exciting changes — several of which I’ll cover in this post.
Interest in the stock market has never seen such diversity as it has in recent years. Technologies have extended interest to a range of demographics that previously did not give much thought into investing and the public markets. Instead of requiring large account balances, persistent fees and unintuitive interfaces, digital first brokerages like Robinhood have proliferated access to the markets in a manner never before seen. Modern “robo-advisors”, like Wealthfront, provide easy access to financial advice to those who would previously not seek it, and micro-investing apps like Acorns make investing a passive, but profitable experience. While these solutions work great for those just getting started in the public markets, how do investment firms with billions of dollars on the line find appropriate investments?
The Wright brothers could not have imagined that their visionary insight would help man fly faster than sound just a few decades later. Aeronautics made great strides in the early 19th century, and the war time efforts during World War I and World War II pushed aircraft design and manufacturing to new heights.