2015 was the year Back to the Future’s Marty McFly went everywhere by hoverboard and the skies were filled with flying cars plus, by 2019, just four years from now, Blade Runner’s Rick Deckart was tracking down his rogue replicants (genetically engineered versions of humans).
That’s obviously all still Hollywood pie in the sky, nevertheless don’t be too quick to scoff. An internet search for predictions about how we’ll be living our lives in a decade’s time will yield thousands of results – some as seemingly ridiculous as those found on the silver screen all those years ago.
For instance, there’s DNA mapping, electric travel and mobile payment systems – which of those would’ve sounded the least bizarre 30 years ago?
Take DNA mapping, which will provide a key to a person’s individual genome. The benefits of this would be life changing and, possibly, life-saving. It will mean a person’s likelihood of developing certain illnesses will be uncovered and, in addition, doctors will be able to drill down to facts such as how an illness will behave and which medicines will, therefore, be best placed to tackle it.
For our industry, this could fundamentally change the way we work, in particular in the area of underwriting. Decisions are going to be taken on absolutes rather than likelihoods and this will obviously impact on the kind of cover a client will receive.
Electric bikes, motorbikes, and cars have been around for some time now and their popularity is steadily gathering pace. UK electric bike brand wisperbikes.com have really upped their game by expanding the range beyond normal commuter e-bikes. In the Isle of Man, home of RL360°’s head office, the world famous TT Races now include an increasingly popular and competitive electric bike race. But the real breakthrough will come when air travel can be powered by electricity and when things like a circuit breaker lockout can be used in aircrafts, making flying cleaner and more efficient.
July 2015 saw an electric plane cross the English Channel for the first time, bringing the reality of electric flight a step closer. By the time 2025 rolls around, the technology will have developed significantly further and, who knows, we could be seeing commercial flights on electric aircraft? The business traveller would enjoy a reduced carbon footprint as a result – as well as a much more peaceful in flight experience without the powering up of noisy engines and possibly cheaper prices.
This can only be good news as air travel is on the increase, with bigger airports and more runways in the pipeline at most major hubs. It will also have implications as national borders disappear further for those working internationally.
It’s likely that the list of countries in which we work will continue to expand. For instance, the emergence and continuing growth of the middle classes and a young, well-educated and vibrant workforce in the developing world will add some new names to that list, particularly in Africa. It’s an area on which those in the financial services industry are keeping a watchful eye.
Mobile payment systems are, without doubt, on the verge of making their presence known throughout the world. Mobile wallet services Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are all launching this year for smartphone users and will allow them to pay by swiping their device in front of a card reader. To add weight to the argument, note that Visa is partnering with Apple and Android on their projects and Barclaycard has launched its own contactless payment device.