When our researchers were in the field for our annual Technology Vision survey, COVID-19 was not yet a global pandemic. Since then, the virus has transformed our lives and challenged many long-held assumptions about how business operates. For banks, the effects can be seen everywhere: in their revenues, credit losses, and profits, in the behavior of their customers and through heavier demands on their technology infrastructure.

The industry responded with extraordinary speed and agility: from encouraging adoption of contactless payments and hastening the shift from branches to other channels, to digitising refinancing in preparation for a surge in non-performing loans. Consider how rapidly banks enabled their employees to work from home—a practice that many had resisted for years.

Much of the work banks did during the difficult early months of the pandemic involved improvised corner-cutting, jury-rigged solutions and taking advantage of regulatory forbearance. The question each bank now faces is how to take the innovations and lessons from the pandemic and make them stick as the world gradually returns to normal.

The banks that play their cards wisely, accelerating their digital transformations and exploring how emerging technologies can meet people’s new and evolving needs, will create opportunities for themselves.

Our Technology Vision for Banking 2020 identifies four key trends that will shape the post-COVID future:

  1. The I in experience: Help people choose their own adventure
  2. AI and me: Reimagine the business through human and AI collaboration
  3. Post-COVID CX: Connected customer experiences in an omnichannel world
  4. Innovation DNA: Create an engine for continuous innovation

Our research for Tech Vision included a survey of some 670 senior banking and technology executives from around the world. Sixty-one percent of them agreed that the rapid advancement in new technologies and scientific innovations was poised to disrupt the industry. Indeed COVID-19 has made digital transformation more relevant and urgent than before.

Opportunities that banks expected to have years to prepare for are quickly approaching. Previously slow-growing pain points are being pushed to the surface. To meet these challenges, banks will need to innovate, reinvent and redefine themselves. The question for most banks is: How fast can you act?

In my subsequent posts, I’ll explore the four major trends in more detail. Until then, read the full report to learn more.

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