November is here and with it comes a host of I.T. and tech news stories. This week has been a busy, and somewhat controversial one. Will we see the death of physical banking play out in front of us over the next few years? Will social media change forever in light of political propaganda? Does the UK have the best young cyber-talent?
We take a look at why the answer to these three questions could all be yes in this week’s roundup.
Mobile apps may be replacing physical bank branches
Research conducted by Visa has found that mobile banking apps are used by 69% of young people to manage their money in the UK. Giving an insightful look at what may be to come, the research found that Millennials were the driving force behind the mobile payment revolution - just over half (53%) are using mobile apps regularly.
Quick and easy peer-to-peer payments is one of the key benefits of mobile banking with 59% of British Millennials saying they have made payments to somebody on their phone.
What does this mean for physical branches? Well, they’re on the decline in Europe. Figures from the European Banking Federation (EBF), which include the UK, revealed more than 9,000 bank branches were closed in 2016.
Jonathan Vaux, Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships at Visa commented: “We are now seeing banks embrace the flexibility offered by apps to reduce the pain points for customers and allowing them to stay on top of their finances while on the move. In essence, anyone with a smartphone or tablet is now able to take their bank branch with them wherever they go.”
What do you think? Do you expect this number to grow and will there still be a place for the physical bank in 10 or 20 years’ time?
Online ad giants scrutinised on Russian involvement in US election
This week, Facebook, Twitter and Google conceded that it was possible their websites were used by Kremlin agents to spread propaganda around the 2016 US election.
This comes as Facebook said as many as 126 million US users may have seen Russian-curated content in the past two years.
Senators questioned representatives from each of the platforms on their policies and why they had not spotted or prevented Russian agents from buying political ads.
The grilling criticised the nature in which these tech giants operate as the US eyes new regulations for social media companies.
Each of the firms said they would tighten their guidelines, all pledging to do more as they understood the seriousness with which legislators were taking the question of Russian meddling.
While Russia still denies any involvement, this is a story that doesn’t appear to be going away.
Best of UK cyber talent to battle it out in Malaga
In more positive news, ten of the UK’s brightest cyber-minds are competing in Spain against other nations this week.
The 2017 European Cyber Security Challenge (ECSC) is a competition which gives young cyber-enthusiasts an opportunity to meet one another, to network, collaborate and compete to find out which country has the best cyber-talent.
Read more on what the competition entails here.
Those were some of this week’s biggest I.T. and tech stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.