The Right Balance of Digital vs. Physical Banking Channels Post-COVID
By Randy Neu | July 14, 2020
Financial institutions are coming out of the COVID-19 period balancing digital solutions with traditional physical locations. They are using remote technologies to enhance both approaches. Plus, two helpful processes for banks and credit unions working to figure out the right percentage mix and roadmap for their strategy.
There has been a huge awakening for those banks and credit unions that lacked digital and remote options to stay operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those with poor online banking, mobile apps, remote deposits, loan applications, and digital account opening all suffered immediate paralysis. Likewise, those institutions running chiefly with physical locations, including both branches and interactive teller machine kiosks, were stuck. Those without remote technologies to keep ATM/ITM fleets up and running, drive-up lanes operational, and remote video, keyless access control, and remote alarm also suffered.
This is not to say that nearly every bank and credit union was not dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But on the readiness scale, those financial institutions that have been more progressive and invested in technology, both digitally and remotely for physical locations including branch and ITM kiosks, were able to pivot and adapt more quickly and efficiently. Their efforts essentially provided contactless experiences and locations when people needed them.
Which financial institution are you? Where do you fall on the scale?
Banking Isn’t Out of the COVID-19 Quagmire Yet
At the time of writing this article heading towards August 2020, reports of COVID-19 positives have been increasing. Many regions are spiking, and in some cases, lockdowns or restrictions on congregating have been recurring. Just when we thought it was safe to go back to business — wham. Another wave and it is Groundhog Day all over again.
That said, most would agree we are all a little better prepared this time around for the select physical locations and ITM kiosks that are open. Masks have proven to be effective. Plexiglass and other shields and social distancing dots have been added. Airflow has been turned up.
But what about assessing your current state of digital and remote technologies? Plus, what is the right balance of digital to traditional locations moving into the future?
We are not sure anyone can accurately look into their crystal ball and predict when COVID-19 will end or if it will ever end. Is it here to stay, like the annual cold and flu? Will scientists finally produce a successful vaccine? Maybe it runs its course and somehow just goes away.
Our firm has retained an infectious disease specialist and formed a Health and Risk Advisory Board in an attempt to cut through the mainstream media’s noise. Our feeling was that something as serious in terms of employee and consumer safety, as well as the health of the financial industry, was worth of its own division. More on that later.