Member Exclusive

Research: Banks shift consumers and employees to digital channels

  • Recent data show that banks moved quickly to support customers and employees during the pandemic.
  • In spite of the disruption, banks are planning to get back to bigger projects.
close

Email a Friend

Research: Banks shift consumers and employees to digital channels

82 percent of banks rated their online and mobile channels as “vital” to operations during the pandemic. That’s according to new research from SRM. Branch footprints have been in a multi-year downtrend. And the response to COVID-19 has seen widespread closures that will accelerate the move to digital.

“Though it is unlikely that any financial institution expected to break the seal on the pandemic continuity plan in 2020, the respondents of our survey appear to be taking the steps required to limit the impact of COVID-19 and, hopefully, expedite a recovery,” said Brad Downs, CEO of SRM.

How useful have your digital channels been during the pandemic? Source: SRM

While banks are generally moving in the direction of digital, institutions that have invested in technology and were further along embracing these new channels are generally experiencing less disruption.

As customers and employees are ushered out of branches, banks are responding with messaging encouraging customers to use other channels, according to the survey which gathered feedback March 17-27. 79 percent of banks have provided further education on the use of remote channels as a means of educating consumers unfamiliar or uncomfortable with digital channels how to access to their money and needed financial services during a time of high economic anxiety.

Financial institutions also quickly shifted their employees to work from home. Nearly two-thirds of respondents allow more than half of their staff to work from home. That’s despite a general banking regulatory culture that hasn’t wholeheartedly accommodated remote work models.

Given the carrying costs of real estate, working from home may become more attractive to banks. This shift could have implications for branch density, further accelerating the elimination of branches. 

What level of disruption do you expect with internal projects? Source: SRM

Banks and credit unions are still mainly focusing on servicing their customers. Longer term projects, like new feature rollouts and system upgrades, are being shelved. Four-fifths of financial institutions expect to delay either most of their projects or “non-essential” ones. Very few respondents expect to ultimately cancel these projects.

“Early indicators from our clients have shown that one critical focus will be on any project that can save money without sacrificing relationships with the consumers and businesses they serve,” said Downs.

The industry is playing defense with Coronavirus and the resulting economic fallout. SRM anticipates that financial institutions will turn their focus on realizing additional cost savings through vendor relationships, business process improvements and automation. The uncertainty will likely increase the pressure to uncover cost savings and improve process efficiency.

0 comments on “Research: Banks shift consumers and employees to digital channels”

Member Exclusive, The Customer Effect

‘What gets measured gets done’: The steps B2B fintechs are taking to improve customer success

  • It looks like B2B fintech is booming this year.
  • To stay in the game, B2B fintechs need to keep their customers happy. Here’s how they’re doing that.
Rivka Abramson | April 15, 2021
Data Snacks, Member Exclusive

More people would make contactless payments if they actually owned a contactless card

  • There is still a small but not insignificant portion of the population that doesn’t own a contactless card.
  • Card issuers could benefit from filling the gap in the market.
Rivka Abramson | April 12, 2021
Data Snacks, Member Exclusive

With frustrated customers, the majority of banks still don’t have a plan

  • The Covid-19 pandemic has forced banks to prioritize customer experiences and interactions.
  • Data ecosystems can help drive bank platform success for hyper personalization and risk identification.
Rimal Farrukh | April 12, 2021
Member Exclusive

With use of digital receipts on the rise, their potential for consumer insight is grabbing attention

  • Covid-19 is accelerating the spread of digital receipts.
  • And with the increase of digital receipts comes the increase of consumer data. Financial institutions and big tech want in.
Rivka Abramson | April 08, 2021
Member Exclusive

A look through LendingClub’s Q4 2020 earnings

  • LendingClub’s latest earnings report revealed an originations increase of 56 percent which surpassed the high end of its guidance range.
  • Last month, Lending Club officially repositioned itself as a marketplace bank through its acquisition of Radius Bank.
Rimal Farrukh | March 29, 2021
More Articles