In contrast, the rate of Fintech adoption is much lower in some European countries — in France, the rate is 35% while the figure for Italy is 51% — which may have created some challenges for both banks and their customers.
As lockdown measures ease, more people may prefer to continue banking online, but banks cannot assume new behavior will stick. Just 16% of respondents to an EY consumer survey said COVID-19 would change the way they bank over the longer term. Encouraging people to keep using digital channels requires banks to continue adapting them to meet changing needs, to drive awareness of these channels and to support vulnerable customers that struggle to use them.
In China, where post-pandemic recovery is further along than in other countries, but still volatile, established banks are moving fast to do this, realizing that creating better digital customer experiences is critical to competing with digitally based companies. But the country’s traditional banks know that their physical branches are a competitive advantage, and plan to adopt a dual online-offline customer service.
This strategic investment in digitizing the customer journey can help mature banks build a winning proposition that leverages technology and trust. Harnessing change will also reap bottom-line benefits from a more efficient, digital organization at a time when cost pressures are top of the board’s agenda.
Getting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and bigger corporates to adopt online banking has always been more difficult. However, once the COVID-19 pandemic forced business customers online, many adapted quickly and discovered the advantages of being able to transact 24/7. Banks have a rare opportunity to make the shift more permanent. But doing so will require completely rethinking the relationship model – developing new digital tools that enable relationship managers to support customers remotely, while delivering a better, more personalized experience.
For example, digitalization supports rapid customer onboarding by extracting relevant data from client information files and automating credit approvals for low value loans. The use of advanced analytics also enables banks to better assess the impact of changing market conditions on customers’ credit risks and provide more accurate insights into which sectors may be most impacted by the economic downturn.