Expert Author Carletta Wellman

Right now, the majority of investing professionals are advising that people who are interested in investing wait until the start of the New Year before they make any moves. After all, unless and until lawmakers reach a deal over the nation's potential financial meltdown, the consumer trends are going to be difficult to predict. The deadline on the Bush era tax cuts is December 31, 2012, and President Obama's healthcare bill tax hikes will go into effect at the first of January. But, there is still enough time for booth parties to reach an agreement that could alter the circumstances, so it is best to hold onto your money at the present time. So, if you are hoping to invest, just sit back for a while and wait to see what happens.

In the meantime, we can sit around and speculate, which is basically what politics is all about anyway. How are the markets going to do next year? What will growth look like? What are some trends that are going to affect the various industries, like, say, the banking technology industry? Let's take a look:

1. Online Banking. More and more Americans are discovering how much better Internet checking is than the old-fashioned way. In this fast-paced world we live in, where everyone is divvying up their focus between their iPads and their smartphones, no one wants to be bothered with having to make trips down to their bank to deposit checks and withdraw their funds. Many individual's are turning to internet checking and online accounts, which are much more convenient.

2. Banking Fees. Another reason that people are turning to online banking is the significantly reduced amount of fees that they are accompanied by. However, most banks are hoping to cash in on this new online banking trend, and are already thinking up new ways to pry their loyal customers' hard-earned cash from their fingers.

3. Social Media. Most banks are already utilizing the benefits offered by social media outlets, and it is projected that they will expand on this trend well into the next year. Big financial institutions like Chase and Bank of America already offer their customers support services via their twitter page. Customers do like to be able to get the help they need, and social media is a great tool for banks in this regard.

4. Mobile Apps. With the increase in online banking will come the demand for more mobile banking apps for iPhone. Small business owners rely upon most of these apps to make their companies function more easily, and most banks are hoping to cash in here, as well, by charging for many of these additional services in 2013.

5. Rewards Programs. The best way to draw in customers is to make them a special offer. For banks, this can be achieved by offering account holders rewards programs. Financial institutions will be likely to increase their customer base if they are willing to increase the benefits they offer to their customers.



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