Can you imagine a time when banking -- the actual act of going to the bank, depositing money, and paying bills -- took up a good portion of your day? While it may seem like a page out of a horror film, the story you are about to read is true.
1. Direct Deposit: Direct deposit didn't use to exist. While the technology to wire funds was available in the 1970s, most companies didn't start using the service until the late 1980s. It may seem like an unimaginable horror, but it gets worse. Each and every Friday, people would have to wait in line at the bank to cash or deposit their checks. Drive-thru lines would wrap around the building and the time spent waiting was an entire lunch hour, if you were lucky. Can you imagine sitting in your car for an hour or more to deposit your check -- every week?!
2. Video Banking: Banks had to employ a team of tellers all week to accommodate these peak hours or risk angry customers, which could be a staffing nightmare. With the advent of video banking, tellers can be centrally located in a call center, assisting where needed, as needed. There is no need to get angry or impatient, a teller is always available with video banking.
3. Mobile Deposits: The first cell phones weighed over two and half pounds and couldn't even take a picture. Making a deposit today is as easy as endorsing a check, snapping a photo on your cell phone, and uploading to it the bank. You can also use apps to pay bills for merchandise or split the check with a friend at lunch. You couldn't do any of that with a two and half pound clunker with a 20 minute battery life.
4. ATMs: While the first automated teller machine was invented in 1960 to be a vending machine for cash, wide-spread use was not until the 1980s in the United States. Before the rise of the ubiquitous ATM, your parents had to get cash out before the bank closed on Friday. If they were lucky, their bank was open for a few hours on Saturday morning. If they didn't get to the bank during open hours, they didn't have cash until Monday morning. Oh, and debit cards didn't exist then either.
5. Online Banking: Forget to pay a bill? No worries, just log into your online account at three in the morning, in your pajamas, and pay it online. If your parents forgot, they'd have to stress out all night and drive there in person in the morning.