Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed everyone’s way of life. Whether you’re looking at the situation from a business perspective or as someone who relies on organizations and their services to carry out your day to day, things have suddenly become much more complicated.
As we work together to ensure the health of our communities, we’ve become familiar with social distancing. Obviously, this puts a strain on business operations. Even the Megabanks are beginning to temporarily close branch locations. The present moment also illustrates how crucial digital banking is. Users must have control over their finances despite losing access to their branches. With a digital banking experience robust enough for users to self-service or virtually converse with tellers, financial institutions (FIs) can support physical health as well as financial health.
The health of FIs’ relationships with their users is more important than ever before. The most effective tool to reach users and maintain those relationships is their digital banking platform. To keep user relationships strong, FIs need to meet users where they are while not forgetting to look after the health of their organization.
How can FIs take care of themselves?
For starters, FIs should have systems in place that allow users to continue to do business as usual. As a result of people not venturing into branches and instead relying on digital access methods, one concern right now is that of increased load on digital banking systems. Digital banking providers should have prepared their systems for increased load and started leveraging long-standing best practices and any additional special measures for this unique period. Of all the sudden worries FIs are facing, the security and availability of their digital banking capabilities should not be among them.
Thinking of the other aspects of day-to-day business, FIs must prioritize the health of their users and team in new ways. We’re seeing FIs adapting by implementing work-from-home policies for their team. If that’s not feasible, other precautions are being taken, including providing gloves for tellers, recurring handwashing and disinfecting breaks, and lowering contamination in high-touch areas by keeping non-secure access entrances open.
In addition to increasing promotion of their digital banking capabilities, FIs have also begun handling transactions through drive-through only and supporting high ATM use by increasing their inventory and cash orders. If a branch remains open, office hours are being adjusted and the amount of customers allowed in is limited, typically per city or state instructions.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, the best way to maintain relationships with users is for FIs to create distance from them for the time being.
How digital banking can help you take care of users
To support a distant but focused relationship with users, FIs can take advantage of digital banking platforms’ fully integrated tools to navigate the new economics of today.
Money movement tools are in use as much as ever, but FIs can use their digital banking platform as the most powerful and effective communication tool at their disposal. Through their digital banking platform, FIs can market to users in-app to let them know their FI is here to help them through this time. For instance, if an FI wants to offer assistance to users with student loan debt, the FI can make sure those users are aware of allowances or delayed payment options with header cards generated from a content management system. The same approach can be taken for those with high payments to the IRS after recently filing taxes or for users with loans issued by their FI. In any scenario, users can log into their digital banking experience and be reassured rather than further stressed by their financial situation.
Using tools that facilitate account opening and quick application submission, users can apply for marketing offers from their phone or computer without having to interact with someone physically. Mobile and desktop ad space can also be used to provide updates on branch closings or suggestions for getting assistance digitally without needing to be in person.
Presently, users are increasingly concerned about the state of their finances. Using data to intelligently categorize and identify user spending habits can help you help users make healthier, more informed financial decisions. To help them execute on their choices, FIs can empower users with the ability to handle all aspects of their finances from anywhere. Delivering a personalized branch experience via mobile and desktop is possible by meeting users where they are through their preferred communication channels. These can include video chat, conversational banking, social, SMS, phone, online voice, and video. As FIs establish their digital strategy, they should consider how to seamlessly transition between any of these methods of communication to help users interact with tellers at a distance.
These are just some of the ways FIs can show they understand that we’re all in this together, maintaining trust among their users and building lifelong relationships while ensuring everyone’s health. If you’re an Alkami client, you can share how your FI is helping your employees and users weather the pandemic and learn more about what others in our client community are doing to help by logging on to Midas.