Back in the 1950’s, the U.S population was more than 150 million people, and the middle class was thriving. This led to the creation of many new personal bank accounts in the country, and it wasn’t long before banks realized they simply didn’t have the manpower to deal with such a large amount of customers, especially as it was taking countless hours to make sure that cheques were being processed around the clock. Consider that at the time, processing was done by hand, and banks operated strict opening hours. Computers would be a welcome revolutionary change in this regard, forever changing the way we bank, and changing the way the technology would shape the course of banking for generations to come.
The First Computer Used in Banking
IBM developed a mainframe computer in the early 1950’s which was able to handle a wide variety of banking functions. The IBM 1400, first introduced in 1959, allowed banks to increase their productivity levels by over 200%. It would be the IBM System 360, which was brought in during 1964, which would be considered the most revolutionary. ERMA (Electronic Recording Method of Accounting), as it was called, not only made it easier for bank tellers to do their jobs, but would be the first inkling of computers playing a broader role from a business and consumer perspective in the decades to come.
The Primary Uses of Computers in Early Day Banking
While computers certainly helped tellers to do their jobs, and sped up the process of processing cheques, there were additional uses that assisted banks in less superficial ways. Data got its start in what would eventually become big business, and banks used early computers to start gaining better insights into their customer bases, as well as how they could best utilize this when offering new products. While now somewhat of common science, bankers that showed innovation in this regard tended to see greater earlier gains. All these decades later, new jobs have been created as a result of data science and computers of the future have been tailored to make data acquisition a top priority for businesses as a whole.
How Technology Shapes The Way We Bank Today
All these years later, the first computers offered by IBM shaped the way that banking is done today, especially if you consider its digitized nature and the way new technologies are constantly being innovated to make processes simpler for banks and consumers. Technology allows us to have instant access to our bank accounts, to transfer money across borders (which previously wasn’t possible), as well as to get around the clock service when we have a query related to personal or business banking. IBM paved the way for the use of computers in commerce, which in effect led to more people being exposed to technology as a whole. These days, it’s hard to fathom a world without technology, and businesses are more efficient as a result of the disruptive technology brought in back in the 1950’s, for which we should be forever thankful.