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Coming from Boston, MA, Karim is Commercial Director at BookingBug. Now based in the UK, he often travels between offices to catch up with the BookingBug team and his other favorite team, The Patriots

What will blockchain mean for banks?

online_appointment_scheduling

Blockchain and its coming impact on banks is a topic of wide debate within the financial sector. We predict changes to everything from payments to your online appointment scheduling software.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain was created to serve as the public transaction ledger for cryptocurrencies, with bubble-bursting Bitcoin by far its most famous progeny.

It’s a technology that uses distributed databases and cryptography to record transactions. in an ever-growing system of interlinked records or ‘blocks’ all synced with identical information. A Blockchain functions as an open, decentralized ledger that effectively keeps track of transactions between two parties in a permanent and verifiable way.

Put simply, multiple parties have simultaneous access to a constantly updated digital ledger that cannot be altered, and therefore functions as a single source of truth. Moreover, it’s virtually impossible to hack.

Looking for more detail? “What is the Blockchain” video or this longer Blockchain TED Talk with Don Tapscott.

How could banks use Blockchain technology?

Although Blockchain technology could be applied to many data processing functions, payments and fraud reduction are two areas with immediate traction.

Transferring money is currently time-consuming and often requires financial intermediaries, each of which takes a service charge and is subject to greater regulation and higher costs due to the prevalence of fraud. Blockchain reduces the number of middlemen while increasing security, which could reduce industry-wide transaction and processing costs by billions. But this reduction in back-office red tape comes at the cost of eroding traditional roles within the financial industry.

Blockchain could also lead to greater trust between trade partners due to their access to shared, trustworthy records and the technology’s strong security features. This, along with real-time transactions, will increase the velocity of money and in turn cash flow and capital investments.

Pundits have speculated that Blockchain will spell the end of money as we know it, via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Although they pose an interesting challenge to central banks’ control of monetary policy, it’s often overlooked that Blockchain could also signal the end of traditional banking too. After all, the technology opens up ways for individuals and corporations to transact directly, without legacy payment networks, proprietary bank systems or bank accounts – and therefore without banks.

If businesses see significant cost savings in offering customers different ways of paying, there will be a rise in non-banks and untraditional financial institutions – with a potential decrease in consumer banking costs.

technology<em>banking</em>finance

Applying Blockchain to appointment scheduling software

Blockchain is already used for appointment scheduling across sectors as varied as medical, beauty and transit. The effect of an accurate, real-time, secure data system on appointment scheduling is obvious. Customers find it quicker and easier than ever to make in-person and online appointments, leading to more efficient use of your workforce’s time.

With the right Blockchain-led appointment scheduling software, banks would be able to more effectively channel customers to the right teams or speed up Knowing Your Customer compliance checks.

But efficiencies don’t stop at the appointment scheduling stage. Navigating data silos can be hugely time-consuming. Blockchain integrates them, which makes it easier for your customer service teams to access and update information during the appointment itself, bringing benefits such as frictionless decisions on lending or a reduction in fraud costs.

As the world’s best appointment scheduling software provider, bookingbug believe Blockchain’s impact on customer management is particularly interesting. As a powerful, accurate data management foundation, it records every interaction or appointment scheduled with your customer - whether physical, online or over the phone - updated across global networks in real-time. All transactions will be accessible, from signatures on mortgage documents to complaints to in-branch appointment schedules, giving you an accurate, holistic view of every customer. Which gives you access to the most important opportunity of all – turning customer insight into assets.

Want to know how current appointment scheduling software could help create profitable customer engagements? See how bookingbug’s powerful customer scheduling software delivers.

The next steps for Blockchain

It’s still early days for Blockchain. The nature of the technology means that solutions tend to be leveraged across multiple parties rather than within a single banking system – which will require an unusual level of cooperation between banks. But if enough parties realize the benefits and agree on common standards and solutions, the potential impact is ground-breaking.

And with 80% of major financial institutions currently experimenting with Blockchain across areas as diverse as payments, anti-money laundering, CRM and syndicated loans, that may be sooner than you think.

If you want to learn more about the blockchain or bitcoin, I suggest you follow key fintech influencers like Jim Marous, Chris Gledhill and Spiros Margaris.

Want to continue learning about the future of banking? Download our free eBook, Emerging Technology: The Future of Banking

technology<em>banking</em>finance