So what are your friends truly worth, anyway?
Well, if financial tech guru Gi Fernando is right, they could be worth a high credit score. Or, in some cases, they could land you a terribly low one.
The banking industry is moving to the world of high tech at warp speed, so we should expect some serious changes. Some of them should bring convenience, others much greater security, and in some cases some really weird concepts that don't seem to make too much sense - at least for now.
So, what kind of changes are we talking about? Well, according to Fernando, they could completely change the way we bank in less than 10 years!
Banking's very near future
Time to cut up those credit cards?
Why not? They probably aren't going to be around much longer anyway, as people switch to digital wallets on their smartphones and tablets. And when you do need to find a bank, you'll be able to find your branch in a local coffee shop or café. Remember, it wasn't too long ago they weren't in supermarkets either.
According to Gi Fernando, "We're on the brink of some seismic changes in the way we all use money." According to Fernando, because Facebook users are already used to prompts asking them to identify a friend's face before logging in, banks aren't too far away from asking customers for social media access. It has even been suggested that users with a stable social network would be seen as a lower credit risk than those someone who regularly changes or swaps out their profile.
Talk about being defined by the company you keep.
Big changes beyond social media credit scores
Would it sound weird if a bank used your social media profile to determine your credit ranking? What if your credit limit was lowered because you didn't have a Facebook page or a LinkedIn profile?
Banks are looking for new ways to innovate as the digital age brings more and more competition. We are already seeing gadgets like digital wallets and software like Apple pay let users hold their mobile devices up to card readers.
And even that new technology could be gone in a blink.
In fact, you may not even be able to blink. Biometric identification is next, allowing us to use our fingerprint or eye scanner to pay at checkout. Those old cartoon characters with dollar signs for eyes don't seem so silly anymore.
Technology advances dart and dodge faster than any other industry, so we can expect some surprises beyond those suggested. I just hope that banks offer solutions that are truly helpful to people, rather than just insisting upon things that completely invade our right to basic human privacy - just because they can.