Having digital functionality for all aspects of banking is no longer optional. While many small and mid-sized financial institutions hesitated to invest in digital, Covid-19 forced the entire industry to provide consumers digital options where they did not exist previously. As consumers shifted their entire daily lives to digital channels, expectations for digital experiences rose exponentially almost overnight.
Simply providing digital capabilities was no longer enough. Consumers wanted engagement to be as fast and easy as the leading big tech and fintech companies. Leading banks and credit unions have focused on reducing the friction for online and mobile account opening, loan applications, transfer of funds, and other essential interactions by reducing the steps that had always been a component of in-person banking.
As physical branches have begun to open, financial institutions are also beginning to reinvent in-branch experiences, reducing friction and considering new ways for consumers to interact with branch personnel. Since it is not expected that branch traffic will ever return to pre-pandemic levels, organizations are also testing different roles for existing employees, focusing on how teams can be used to humanize digital experiences beyond the branch. One way this is being done is to use data and analytics to create personalized product and service recommendations that can be delivered by branch personnel in real time, supplementing other channel messages.
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