I was reading an interesting article recently about how technological change has always historically seen a struggle between fear and hope.
When we think of technology, we tend to think of electronic devices such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, TVs and the like. However, as far back as four hundred years ago, technology was seen with as much fear as some have with the latest electronic gadgets today.
In fact, you may be surprised to learn that in 1589, the first stocking knitting frame was denied a patent by the then Queen, Elizabeth I, on the grounds it would threaten existing hosiers and bring them ruin by depriving them of employment.
At the time trains were invented, physicians issued stark health warnings as they believed that seeing and even breathing may be difficult for our bodies that weren't used to such velocity!
When the first electric light bulbs were introduced, The New York Times warned customers that they may go blind. Of course, this wasn't the case and it seems unbelievable now how many people believed this at the time.
The New York Times also published an article in 1985, at the start of the computer generation, adamant that people would never want to lug a computer to the beach or on a train let alone wanting to fritter away hours looking at it as people would rather read a newspaper! Jump forward to today and technology forms many people's everyday lives especially since smartphones were invented. Many people now read the news on their phone and can do so at home, on the beach or on the train. We can also use it for online shopping, banking and keeping in touch with family, friends and work.
As technology has advanced so much, societal fears now tend to be more aimed at identity theft and identity fraud with cybercrime becoming more and more heard of.
I attended a security seminar recently and was surprised to learn that the most common method of identity fraud actually occurs via post with email following in second place. Identity fraud is something that we at Financial Management Bureau are very aware of and are taking further steps to address. Our client's data and confidentiality are of the utmost priority to us, so later this year we are introducing a new web portal call PFP (Personal Finance Portal) that will allow messages and documents to be sent back and forth securely. It is fully encrypted and will give that added reassurance to our clients when sending emails and also to those who prefer to receive documents electronically rather than by post.
The portal also has a lot of other features that our clients can utilise too, such as live valuations of their portfolio, net worth, achievements of financial goals against objectives as well as the ability to update any of their personal data. There is also an option if they wish, to securely link it to their credit cards and bank accounts so that they can see all of their money in one place and assess their spending against any specific budgeting that they may have.
Of course, the web portal will not be for everyone and we will continue to deal with our clients in the way they are most comfortable with. But rest assured, Financial Management Bureau are always looking for new and improved ways to bring value and reassurance to our clients and minimise any fear they may have with the ever changing world of technology.