Jul 25, 2022

Technology in Finance: The long lasting impact of innovation

From the introduction of credit cards to the adoption of Blockchain-backed bank guarantees, the Financial Services industry is more accessible now than ever before.

The Financial Services industry has played host to many significant innovations in recent history, and in doing so, improving the lives of millions of people around the world. 

The ‘Diners Club’ credit card was the first of its kind. 

In 1950, the founder of the Diners Club, Frank McNamara, forgot his wallet whilst dining in New York. 

Vowing never to be caught out again, a cardboard card was created by the Diners Club, and made available for customers to pay bills at restaurants with the card. 

The Diners Club card registered 42,000 users in the first year and now has 70 million cardholders worldwide. 

This innovation was the first of its kind and laid the foundation for today’s 22 billion credit cards and debit cards in circulation.

In 1967, the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was created. 

To reduce congestion and labour costs in branches, the ATM was rolled out by banks all around the world not long after its creation in 1967. 

The introduction of ATMs was a huge success, and there were reportedly over 3 million ATMs around the world in 2019. 

The ATM gave customers a more efficient way to manage their personal finances, and today it is hard to imagine a time that this required the assistance of a bank teller.

Fast forward to the 1980s, and telephone banking is introduced to the world.

First rolled out in the UK in 1984, and with technology developing at a rapid pace, telephone banking gave customers more access to their financial institutions than ever before. 

The use of telephone banking increased steadily over the following years and correlates directly with the cellular revolution of the 1990s.

Over 22% of Australians used telephone banking in 2021, and it was the preferred way to manage their finances for many since its introduction, a key indication that it has stood the test of time.

The next decade brought us internet banking.

Internet banking revolutionised the financial services landscape for all.

Offering users 24/7 access and the ability to transfer between accounts with the click of a button,

Similar to telephone banking, the huge influx of internet users in the following years correlates with the mass adoption of internet banking.

Now, the global financial services industry has over 68 billion website visitors each year, and the number of online banking users is expected to surpass 1 billion by 2024. 

Internet banking goes mobile in 2010, with the first mobile banking apps.

ANZ introduced Australia’s first mobile banking app ‘Gomoney,’ allowing customers to access their bank accounts directly from an app on their iPhones. 

The uptake of users follows the same trend of telephone and internet banking, growing over time as the rate of smartphone users climbed at a similar pace. 

Banking apps are now the preferred method to manage money, with over 63% of Australians opting for mobile banking apps as their most used banking channel, and a total of over $503 billion was made in payments from mobile phones worldwide in 2020. 

2021 was the year of the world's first digital bank guarantee.

Bank guarantees had been paper-based for over 200 years, and presented banks, applicants and beneficiaries with a cumbersome process to navigate

Lygon Arc was introduced in 2021 and utilised blockchain technology (the first time Blockchain had been used for a commercial banking product in Australia) to replace the end-to-end, paper bank guarantee process. 

The creation of digital bank guarantees has reduced issuance times from around 31 days to as little as 1 day. The platform also gave users the chance to amend, cancel and demand on their guarantees with the click of a button – capabilities that were not possible until the introduction of the platform.

As with most other key financial services innovations, we expect digital bank guarantees to completely replace their paper counterparts. 


With key clients such as ANZ, Westpac, Dexus, Mirvac and Buildcorp onboard, now is the perfect time to sign up to Lygon and digital bank guarantees.

A display photo of Nicholas

Nicholas Farley

Marketing Manager

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