Banking without branches a matter of life and death

As the impact from the coronavirus intensifies, banks and credit unions need to be able to provide all banking services without the need for branches. Unfortunately, there continues to be an over-reliance on physical delivery and inadequate education on the benefits of digital alternatives.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the closure of an increasing number of schools, restaurants and major retailers globally, while sending workers home either because of sickness or to care for family members. It is only a matter of time before government calls for people to stay at home negatively impacts financial institution branch visits. There is also the possibility that banks and credit unions will need to reduce branch hours or completely close branches due to staffing challenges or for the health of their customers and members.

But the need for banking services will not cease. In fact, there will be an increased demand for credit availability, new savings and investment accounts, new or replacement debit and credit cards, as well as general financial advice. Unlike any time in the past, the ability for consumers to conduct all banking business digitally may be a matter of life and death.

Research by the Digital Banking Report, Fiserv and other organizations indicate that the majority of consumers and financial institutions are ill equipped for an instant migration to digital channels. For those organizations that have focused on building completely digital solutions, this period of digital transformation could provide a strong competitive advantage. Likewise, those organizations that have created tools for educating consumers on digital banking alternatives also are in a position of strength.


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