The Record - Issue 19: Winter 2020

98 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om C ovid-19 has disrupted many of the long-­ established norms of the banking world. In just a few weeks, the pandemic forced customers to manage more of their finances online and compelled financial institutions to make major changes to the way they work. The banking industry has already proved it can meet these significant challenges by radi- cally transforming how – and where – employ- ees work in a short space of time. Banks have ensured that their branches are fully stocked with face masks, gloves and sanitisers. They have rescheduled business hours and restricted customer numbers to allow for safe social dis- tancing. Most importantly, they have supported their customers and employees by rapidly pivoting to deliver more online, mobile and call centre banking services. In doing so, banks have also demonstrated that protecting the health and well-being of their employees and their customers is a top priority. The road ahead feels uncertain, but it’s clear that banks will need to continue to adapt as the situa- tion progresses to ensure they can meet their cus- tomers’ need for uninterrupted banking services. In addition, they must also continue to support their corporate and small and medium-sized enterprise clients to ensure business continuity and keep the global economy going. To achieve these aims, banks are reimagining their operational business models and millions of branch and contact centre employees are already providing customer services from their homes. Research from Stanford Business School suggests home working boosts productivity and job satis- faction because employees are more engaged and less distracted. Consequently, if this crisis results in sustained improvements in work-life balance, it could help banks to reduce their dependence on high-cost office spaces and make it easier to attract and retain talented people. Certainly, it’s likely that banks will need to continue to develop these remote working capa- bilities, with a Harvard University professor warning that many physical distancing meas- ures may need to be in place intermittently until 2022. Hence, banks will need to scale up their remote access technology and become adept at managing remote teams. In addition, they must implement up-to-date security patches and information security protocols to safeguard customer data. Banks will also need to implement fast and seamless digital capabilities to enable employees to provide all the services traditionally availa- ble in a branch, even if they are working from home with just a laptop or tablet. They will need support and a range of technology solu- tions to do this securely. That’s where VeriPark’s branch automation solution, VeriBranch, excels. By using VeriBranch to directly connect to Recreating the bank branch at home Banks must invest in new technologies to enable employees to continue delivering secure and personalised banking services to customers while they are working remotely WI M G E UK ENS : V E R I PAR K E UROP E V I EWPO I NT “Banking leaders are realising that their teams can do much of their work productively at home”