Even during the lockdown and with strict border controls in effect, the exchange of goods and services continues to rise. Throughout the economic crisis, people still trade and engage in commercial activities. Despite the dramatic intensity of the COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns, customer behaviour, how organisations function, and the risk-return profile of industries are all altering.
What can banks do to improve resilience beyond requesting emergency assistance, given that some of these changes are likely to be permanent? Is the industry prepared to meet the new demands of the people? Have banks adapted to the new normal?
According to Forbes, even if a shift toward digitalisation was already happening, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the process in aspects that will start to influence how people engage with their financial institutions in the next year. In the United Kingdom, the proportion of
customers using online banking on a monthly basis increased from 52% to 57%. More broadly, a comparable influx of European banking customers using online banking channels on a weekly basis was observed to increase from 68 percent to 71 percent between 2019 and 2020. Following the health protocols of social distancing, trends in the financing industry will unsurprisingly happen in the years to come. Until the world gets back to a sense of post-vaccine normal life, banking institutions will continue to look for ways to increase accessibility so that clients can bank anyplace, at any time.
If we ask again, have banks adapted to the new normal? Technically, we can say yes. But banks, on the other hand, must understand that different channels affect customer confidence. Even if banks frequently recognise broader digital adoption as a cost cutting measure and provide services around the clock, the sudden change to existing and promoted digital services has all but eliminated the vital human element from banking, further jeopardizing consumer trust.