Banks face a race to catch up to big tech, in what's set to be a highly digitalised post-Covid-19 world.

The New Zealand arm of global business consultancy Accenture said the pandemic had disrupted banking across the world.

It said cash was on its way out, and banking apps were facing increasing challenges from big tech firms like Apple and Google.

Accenture New Zealand managing director Ben Morgan said banks were forced to make years' worth of technology and business model changes within a matter of months as demand for digital and secure work-from-home systems exploded.

"This means the mode and operation of banking in most other countries has likely changed forever. Covid has blurred the lines between established players and challengers as traditional banks have upped their digital game and increased their share of digital sales from about 30-40 percent to over 70 percent."

Morgan said the launch of Google Plex banking in 2021 and the likely evolution of Apple from credit card provider to broader financial services player will see retail transaction banking disappear into broader digital lifestyle management platforms.

"Google Plex and Apple Pay take this a step further and transaction banking is increasingly becoming native to the phone's operating system.

"The balance sheet is pushed quite far back in the proposition which provides a vastly superior customer experience compared with standalone banking apps.

"The twilight of the banking app may also be coming in the world of B2B transactions, as digital business management platforms like Shopify, Facebook, and Amazon can offer better insights than the banks into supply chain economics and business cashflow."

Shopify, Facebook, and Amazon are better placed to keep track of supply chain economics and business cashflow than banking apps, an expert says. Photo: AFP

Over time, transaction banking and cash management would start disappearing into the operating systems of devices and businesses, Morgan said.

The demise of cash has also been accelerated as a result of Covid-19.

In Europe, cash transactions declined by over a third in many markets while Norway was close to becoming the world's first cashless economy with cash accounting for just 4 percent of all transactions, Morgan said.

"As residual cash usage falls to single digits, the relative costs of providing a cash service will continue to increase for traditional banks."