There’s no denying that we are facing a time of serious uncertainty. Global fears surrounding the novel coronavirus have led to roller-coaster stock markets, travel restrictions, large-scale quarantines, event cancellations and more. This laundry list of effects from the recently-declared pandemic can seem dire, overwhelming and even paralyzing.
But it is not all doom and gloom. We are fortunate to do business in a time and place where we have the infrastructure and knowledge to survive and thrive, even when faced with a cloudy future. Online banking, mobile apps, videoconferencing and more all can contribute to a return to business as usual – even if that business is largely conducted digitally.
Keep Calm and Bank On
It is true that our industry has been impacted, from the postponement of CBA Live to the very real impacts of stock market volatility. Folks can be forgiven for indulging in worry, but this is no time to panic. One of the keys to success in a time like this is a measured, calm response followed by rational actions that allow you to continue to meet and exceed customer expectations.
For many, the phrase that embodies the current state of American banking is “The Show Must Go On.” The day-to-day lives of your customers still demand attention. Bills get paid, deposits get made and people are still applying for credit. However, with the specter of social distancing looming on the horizon, you can certainly re-focus on your digital tools and strategy to keep the engine running smoothly.
Many companies have invested heavily in their digital transformations, but not all will have the flexibility to make real-time changes to adapt to ever-fluid market and regulatory conditions. Those that have partnered with nimble, flexible solution providers will emerge as the leaders, as they will be best equipped to shift their strategies and adapt to the changing times.
Financial institutions (FIs) that have the right partners and the right strategy can turn the challenge presented by the coronavirus into an opportunity. By leaning heavily into a digital-first mindset, you can give your customers the tools they need to manage and maintain their finances, while setting your organization on the path toward a mobile and digitally-focused future.
Walking the Walk
Many FIs are stepping up and emphasizing that digital engagement strategy. Reuters noted in a recent press release that “[b]anks are talking up their online and mobile banking capabilities to customers,” and many are proactively encouraging their customers to use apps and websites rather than visit branches. A recent American Banker article notes that Reading Co-operative Bank has “said it would offer assistance to any [sic] who needs help setting up online or mobile banking.”
Others are proactively announcing additional intentions to help customers and businesses mitigate the financial fallout of social distancing. Some are offering loans to local businesses impacted by fewer patrons; the same American Banker article notes that others are “taking such steps as waiving certain fees, increasing credit lines and implementing forbearance programs.”
If you’re executing on your digital-first strategy, congratulations! You are well-positioned and making the right moves to keep your customers happy and financially secure. If you are looking to improve and expand your digital initiatives, consider partnering with an enterprise-level platform provider. The right partner can help you access all the data and decisioning you need to support digital banking, from account origination to automated underwriting and default management.