How COVID-19 changed the financial services experience for customers
The global pandemic may have brought the significance of online banking to the surface, but mobile and online banking aren’t new. But what did transpire over the last two years is the need for a remote banking service that is secure and at the same time, can effectively mimic the in-person experience that consumers have with their respective bankers and financial advisors. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuing lockdown and imposed social-distancing protocols that varied greatly from place to place and time to time, kept customers away from in-person services at their respective financial institutions. Several branches of retail banks were shuttered, never to reopen. Employees were given instructions to work from home. Naturally, customers were left feeling confused and overwhelmed, especially those that were not used to online banking.
What was encouraging was the speed and dexterity with which the world of finance adapted itself to the situation. The need for high and uncompromising cyber security and constant communication are the cornerstones for any financial institution.
At the same time, the huge volatility in markets worldwide at such a time left scores of customers in desperate need of reaching out to finance advisors.
Financial institutions responded with minimum turnaround time and ensured a near-seamless experience for all of their customers, whether the customer was tech-savvy or not.
Some of the major strategies on how this was enabled are:
- Increased Digital Communication – Help on demand. This became the pivot around which digital communication gained acceleration. Unsure times require that a specialist be available to clear ambiguity. This led to a manifold increase in digital channels and information dispersed through them. A survey of 2500 enterprise decision-makers has revealed the fact that 60% of financial sector companies responded to the pandemic by ramping up their digital communication. (Source – Twilio). Some of the features that were added to existing platforms to increase digital communication are in-app chatting, chatbots, and live chats with a “real” person . Typically, Fintechs have always been proactive in adopting newer technology and digital communication was one of them. Unfortunately, the retail banks were lagging behind. But the pandemic, interestingly, accelerated the process, forcing banks to adopt the latest and greatest technology to facilitate increased online but “live” interaction with their customers. An experience that would make it seem like both banker and their customer were actually in the same room. 69% of US banking brands had average or below average digital performance but the COVID-19 and resultant lockdowns have changed the scenario, bringing them at par with the fintech sector now. The State of the Financial Services Industry in the Wake of COVID-19 –
- Virtual Operations – A customer-centric approach was the need of the hour, though it had to be provided virtually. The new method ensured that no face-to-face, personal contact was necessary to provide financial assistance or advice. Through video conferencing and other omni channels, several industries from insurance to retail to private banking successfully elevated their online experiences and provided customized digital customer experiences and engagement solutions. Existing clientele found it convenient to reach out, despite ongoing lockdowns and interact with specialized staff. Happy customers meant customer retention, increase of revenue and higher market shares for the company. In a holistic way, it also ensured smooth running of the fintech and banking sectors and the economy.From Surviving to Thriving: Digital Customer Engagement beyond Video C
- Customer and Banking Staff adoption of digital contact channels – A logical progression of the above 2 points, adoption of the process was enabled through an acceptance of both customer and banking staff. While the latter underwent necessary training and upscale of skill sets as required, the former was actively encouraged and even guided as required to accept and adopt the process for smooth work operations at both ends.
In the move to video banking, why is a stable, secure and uncompromising conferencing platform essential
Security is a No. 1 priority for financial institutions. In any industry, a breach of data and other confidential information can prove to be litigious and damaging. It can be a meeting-crasher who proves to be a nuisance or a more serious hacker with malicious intent. In the financial sector, this assumes a non-negotiable dimension as the implications and repercussions are too huge. While a safe, stable, and secure video conferencing platform should be of basic hygiene value and part of every company’s best practices, when it comes to a fintech company or bank, this is an absolute necessity.
Personify being downloaded and used successfully for financial services
Apart from the sheer ease of download and installation, the following features ensure why a whole lot of companies in the financial sector rely on Personify –
- Data security and privacy are of utmost importance to Personify Inc and the company allots prime seriousness to this aspect.
- Accordingly, it ensures appropriate and adequate measures in processes, procedures, policies and technologies to protect personal financial information of all manner of customers.
- The information security policies and procedures are closely aligned to worldwide standards that are widely accepted. Even so, they are constantly reviewed and frequently updated to incorporate legislation rules and business requirements.
- There are methods and measures to protect against accidental and malicious unauthorized access, use, destruction or disclosure of data.
- The Company has a strategy for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery that has been designed to safeguard and ensure continuous and seamless service to clients and also protect its people and assets.
- Appropriate curbs and checks on access to personal information.
- Implementation of measures and controls on data, that includes monitoring and physical checks for storage and safe transfer of data.
- Regular security awareness training programs for employees and contractors.
- Necessary steps to ensure that employees and contractors are aware and incorporate all clauses applicable in contractual conditions and operate according to the Company’s information security policies and procedures.
- The Company requires through the use of contracts and security reviews, that third-party vendors and service providers and subcontractors protect any sensitive information that they may have access to, in accordance with company policies and procedures.
All indicators point at the fact that video conferencing) is here to stay even after the pandemic is over. In the initial stages of COVID-19, banking clients in the US saw a mind boggling +400% increase in the number of client video calls and this looks likely to continue.
- The trend toward digitalization started way before COVID-19 and if anything, the pandemic has only accelerated it
- Video banking also started ahead of the pandemic and this phase has only increased its utility like contactless interaction, cutting out travel time, on-demand help etc
- Quicker adoption of digital communication channels over the pandemic
- A significant number of retail bank branches have not reopened in the entire country
Video conferencing is showing higher levels of satisfaction and benefits for customers.5 reasons why video calling with customers is here to stay