It’s mid-December and you are in your conference room planning for the next financial year. You are looking at numbers, trying to analyze last year’s insights, and come to a consensus.

Months pass and finally, it’s April—time to announce the budget for the new fiscal. But, instead of focusing your energies on this year’s budget, you are forced into a survival mode fighting a pandemic instead.

When business leaders, like yourself, were planning for the new financial year, no one could have thought of drawing up a plan to circumnavigate the COVID-19 crisis. The current situation requires your financial institution to be at the forefront with your response and to support customers without interruption. Despite the many challenges you are facing, you must offer continued and flexible services through a range of channels convenient to your customers.

This requires you to make some quick changes in your work style, such as:

  • Offering digital services—Amid lockdowns and social distancing advisories, the face-to-face, branch-based model is not sustainable. At this time, only digital channels can get the ball rolling. To successfully leverage these channels, you need to ensure that you can deliver robust digital services while ensuring a consistent, intuitive, and uninterrupted customer experience
  • Adjusting to policy changes—Governments across the globe are offering stimulus packages, especially for small businesses, during these turbulent times. Some of these measures include waiving fees on a late or missed card or loan payments, deferring loan payments, and more. All these policy changes require you to make corresponding adjustments to your existing system and send related communications to your customers
  • Empowering employees to work from home—Ensuring employee safety and fostering a collaborative work environment is key right now. Shifting to digital, the new normal, must be quick and seamless. Your IT infrastructure should enable you to transition to anytime-anywhere workplace quickly

Key Lessons for Banks from the COVID-19 Pandemic

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious challenge that financial institutions, and industries across the board, have faced in years. But, it is also an opportunity for the financial institutions to prioritize proactivity and prepare for contingencies.

Here are the top 3 lessons that banks can learn from the current situation:

  • Have a contingency plan—In watching the COVID-19 response from the financial services industry, it has been particularly surprising to see that many organizations are not equipped to promptly shift to a remote working environment. Once the current situation has passed, financial institutions must expand the scope of their resiliency and business continuity plans, priming their enterprise to effectively respond to the unexpected in the future
  • Be agile and adapt to the changing environment—Right now, the most important thing that banks need is agility, to deal with such unprecedented uncertainty and ambiguity. Your financial institution must be agile enough to adapt to a dynamic environment be it in the form of new rules, government policies or working style
  • Think digital, always—Digitization has allowed businesses to survive in the face of this crisis. With digital, customers can transact, pay their bills, make investments, and do much more from the comfort of their homes while maintaining social distancing. To deal with the current situation and prepare for the future, you must make a sound investment in your digital strategy

Bank on a Robust Digital Platform

The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced everyone to rethink how prepared are they for a natural disaster or any other unforeseen and disruptive situation. However, it has become clear that digital plays a pivotal role in ensuring business continuity during such a crisis.