Just ten years ago a bank was a very serious, stately business that was housed in an impressively austere and cold building.
Inside every branch, velvet curtains and wood-panelling drove the point home that this was a place where jokes were not welcome and people with new, crazy ideas were taken out to the back alley and beaten with fabric bank bags filled with copper coins.
Since then however, technology has literally transformed banking into one of the most exciting industries and along with this change, brand new ways of accessing banking services are emerging.
Embedded finance is the newest term being flung around by technology entrepreneurs and is the embedding of financial services and solutions into technology applications offered by non-banking brands.
According to a report in Forbes - embedded finance is fast becoming one of the most disruptive trends in payments, banking and technology today.
Examples: We are all aware that Uber are increasingly involving themselves in offering financial services, Apple Pay is said to be debuting in South Africa this year - even self-publishing platforms like Ghost (the service that this site is published on) are now offering publishers the ability to get paid for their content via Stripe.
The value created by this embedded finance partnership is a stickier and richer value proposition for tech companies and obviously the chance to make more money when offered at scale.
The implications are that financial services can be embedded into just about any consumer-facing business, all of which should now be considering themselves to be fin-tech companies.
With that in mind, finance brands need to consider how they can become valued partners in this new opportunity rather than seeing themselves as going it all alone.
Embedded finance as a business service is still in it's infancy of development, but banks that move quickly on this one will open up a wealth of opportunity in particular on the African continent - where innovative technology solutions are flourishing at pace and this kind of embedded value will greatly improve the commercial viability of digital solutions.
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