If I look at the last 10 weeks, while there has certainly been a lot of admirable hustling and improvisation in the banking industry, my conversations with executives have also been characterised by a lot of regret. Regret that they didn’t move quicker with their transformation efforts when they had both the time and the resources to do so.
The situation is obviously very uncertain right now, but if we look at what comes next there are some things we do know. There will continue to be more digital interaction as physical restrictions stay in place. There will be fewer bank branches as the decline in networks pre-COVID is likely to accelerate. And the high financial stress that is afflicting consumers and businesses is likely to endure for some time. This is an opportunity for banks to be the heroes, not the villains; to be part of the solution rather than the problem. There is going to be a critical role for banks to play in helping reduce financial pressures on consumers and small and mid-sized businesses, and in helping them navigate the uncertainty.
I recently had the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion with Flybits founder and CEO, Hossein Rahnama, about the actions banks can take post-COVID to engage in really personalised digital conversations with their customers. He explained how they can provide options and guide them towards actions that result in a win-win for both banks and their customers.
It was a fascinating session; you can watch the replay here: