The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for financial institutions to offer and maintain a robust online presence. Many FIs were forced to undergo an accelerated digital transformation, more customers began to adopt mobile banking, features such as interactive chats with virtual assistants and online check deposits became normalized, and physical visits to bank branches were few and far between. The result was an increase the volume of online transactions.
In a recent nCino webinar, Leslie Parrish of Aite-Novarica Group said, “It’s critical that transitions between communication channels be as seamless as possible. To prepare for the next normal, banks will need to refine strategy, looking at customer behaviors and how that’s changed through the pandemic, [and] what new habits customers have formed. It’s critical to learn from these changes as everyone’s preferences and behaviors continue to evolve.”
Aite-Novarica performed a study considering the changes that occurred during the pandemic for online banking in small business customers. They found that 90% of customers enjoy mobile banking and 75% said they liked speaking to someone virtually. As digital growth expands and fewer customers visit banks in person, however, Aite also reported that 9 out of 10 customers said they still prefer having a physical branch close by.
“You still need a place to land and visibility in the community,” said Scott Napier of WaFd Bank. “I don’t think the branch is going away. I think the physical brick and mortar still needs to be there [as] a connection for our clients. It’s the juxtaposition between the physical in person and the digital connection we’re helping create for them.”
All the participants in the webinar agreed: embracing technology that helps automate time-consuming tasks can give time back to institutions to allow their employees to focus more on building relationships with their customers. As digital growth continues, institutions must be willing adapt so that they can best serve their customers.
“We all recognize the imperative for digital,” said Josh Wauchope. “It’s no longer if and when. It’s now and how.”
To learn more about the retail and commercial trends shaping the future of banking, the need to transform the role of the branch, and how financial institutions can create value for customers in a digital environment, download our on-demand webinar, “The Future of Banking: Reinventing the Customer Experience Through Digital Growth” now.