DBS slogan “Live more, Bank less”, though might sound strange (IMO), does capture the essence of what a bank really should be.
Banks can be invisible, they can be infrastructure and services that empowers but not be overtly present. They are the foundation of the economy and businesses, yet they should not be the hurdles for conducting businesses.
At the most basic level, they facilitate the movement of money, i.e. payments. It’s such an important process of every business, yet it still seems so cumbersome making money transfers online. Complicated banking interfaces and IMO expensive transactional fee. Especially so when it’s cross boundary and includes foreign exchange.
Beyond the fundamentals, the banks provide loans for businesses, facilitate mergers and acquisitions, etc and a whole myriad of services.
Loans are also a critical revenue driver for banks. While it’s important to make business sense, banks can also help catapult a society in a certain directions by investing in certain sectors and providing loans for startups, of course, for those that makes business sense.
Would all services eventually be virtual?
I don’t like to go to the bank, so I am looking forward to the day it will.