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Digital preparedness: navigating future pandemics

by Thomas Muth | 7 July, 2020

Acceleration of digitalization

COVID-19 has led to a dramatic uptake of digital products and services. This has caused a shift in priorities for many financial institutions to ensure they stay relevant to their customers - placing digitalization at its core.

Businesses across multiple sectors have found themselves relying heavily on digital technology to preserve everyday operations and business continuity through the pandemic, and banks are no different.

Prior to the pandemic many traditional banks were still relying on lengthy onboarding processes involving paper and digital processes. However, following the lockdown rules and new restrictions, out of necessity banks are now re-evaluating their focus.

Driving resilience: embracing digital transformation

For traditional banks to retain their share of the market, they must embrace digital transformation to offer the desire for a more personalised, cloud native digital only service. By making modifications and adjustments to their technological processes and their operational structures, banks will be able to place the customer at the heart of their business and champion satisfaction across all channels.

As global pandemics have the potential to become common place, financial institutions need to rethink their ways of working. It’s no good reverting back to the old nostalgic ways but think about how to make lasting changes that will support future crises in whatever form they may take.  Banks must act now by harnessing ‘Open Banking,’ and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. This will allow banks to expand their offerings and build business resilience towards any future cases of disruption.

A cultural shift to onboarding customers 

Traditional banks also need to make a cultural change to the way they onboard customers, by ditching lengthy onboarding procedures that rely on paper processes. The ability for people to return paper forms in a COVID-19 lockdown environment is completely impractical. Indeed, a recent research report commissioned by five°degrees shows that 4 in 10 Brits (43 per cent) expect to be able to set up their bank account instantly. For banks to respond to this demand they must be able to provision for their services as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Financial institutions along with all businesses must use this time to re-evaluate their processes within the context of the new ‘normal.’ To future proof for similar events, whether that be a second COVID-19 wave, another pandemic or even natural disasters, it is clear that digital preparedness through utilising emerging technologies is the key component to ensuring business resilience for banks.

Finextra - Digital preparedness: navigating future pandemics

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