As the world continues to wage its battle against the COVID-19 virus, strategic planners in every industry are assessing the most likely outcomes and making plans to ensure the delivery of necessary products and services to consumers.
While a lot of attention has been focused on essential industries such as medical, pharmacy and food, executives in the banking industry are also carefully monitoring the situation.
As American Banker reported this week, American consumers are becoming increasingly concerned that the situation will affect their personal finances. According to J.D. Power, many banks are failing to explain how exactly they will help.
“This is a moment of truth for the industry to step up communication and start showing tangible concern,” Bob Neuhaus, vice president of global financial services at J.D. Power said to the publication. “It goes way beyond the standard email most companies are sending out. It has to be more tangible in terms of what customers can and should be doing.”
Now that bank branches across the country have been closed to consumers in an effort to stop the spread of the infection, those communications will have to be digital, at least for most institutions.
As tragic and disconcerting as the situation clearly is, this is also an opportunity for financial institutions to evaluate their digital strategy for any gaps that exist. Are your business, customers and employees able to fully function in a low touch environment? How about your partners, those outsourced call centers and development shops and other service providers? This moment is critical for banks and credit unions to assess how things are operating within the organization and learn from these observations.
Without access to a national call center, electronic communication will be the most efficient method of sharing important information with consumers. By staying in touch with customers during this crisis, banks and credit unions will give consumers the confidence to continue to operate with some degree of normalcy. Over the long term, this will minimize the negative impact of the crisis on their personal finances.
Banks, credit unions and fintechs are all stepping up to provide a more customized digital strategy to their customers and members as well as offering financial assistance to those in need. At Xtensifi, we are following the situation closely and will provide more updates on what the impact of COVID-19 means for our industry as a whole.