What main challenges have banks faced since the start of the Covid-19 crisis?
One immediate operational challenge has been for banks to find ways to not only support customers through non-branch-based interactions, but also ensure that they can operate safely and securely despite most staff working remotely.
Banks have also experienced a drop in revenue due to the adverse economic impacts of Covid-19 and the associated increase in risk of companies defaulting due to potentially rising unemployment and lack of liquidity. There have also been government-backed initiatives, such as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which have required a very quick turnaround and increased banks’ workloads.
How have digital technologies helped banks to quickly adapt to remain operational?
Online channels and mobile apps have helped banks to serve customers remotely. As part of a reinvigorated drive towards digitisation, banks have adopted cloud-based fintech solutions that can be deployed quickly and nimbly. Cloud-based customer management solutions and enterprise collaboration toolsets that allow staff to collaborate effectively in a virtual environment have proven particularly useful for supporting both customers and employees. Banks have also had to reinforce cybersecurity protocols to operate securely.
In what ways has the pandemic been a catalyst for improving how banks operate and serve customers?
Covid-19 has undoubtedly been the largest driver of digitisation in the banking industry in recent history; it has forced banks to consider a world where the “new normal” is remote and virtual. Digitisation often requires processes to be rationalised and simplified, which directly improves both customer satisfaction and internal operational efficiency. For example, banks can integrate accounting platforms to streamline onboarding processes for small businesses, reducing the need to share paper-based information and enabling them to make better and faster lending decisions. Meanwhile, remote working, which is likely to remain in place even after restrictions have lifted, has given banks the opportunity to review service delivery models and improve staff satisfaction.
In what ways will the pandemic change the types of banking experiences customers expect?
The adoption of new mobile and digital banking is at an all-time high. This is expected to continue over the longer term as banks increasingly focus on developing assisted online channels for complex processes such as mortgage origination or business lending. Banks will be required to do more than simply digitise processes; they will have to focus on developing solutions that extend digital collaboration beyond the enterprise boundaries and ultimately to customers.
Carlos Salta is vice president of banking and diversified financials at Capgemini’s Financial Services
This article was originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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