The Future of Banking in the Post-COVID World

Mar 5th, 2021
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The COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year has generated high volatility in global capital markets, pushing corporate banks in the center of fiscal policies geared to getting economies back on track. As an essential provider, the task now falls on banks to be hyper-vigilant in their business continuity models as they chart the murky waters of uncertainty in the foreseeable future. With countries announcing recurring lockdowns to flatten the curve of the pandemic, there is now a need to amplify strategies for the future of the workplace, and seriously consider what its implications are for operating models.

A recent study found that the ongoing collaborations between governments and retail banks will play a key role in reopening economies safely, that systemic stability and infrastructure modernization will accelerate future resilience, and predicts that remote operating models will now function at accelerated rates to ease the burned on employees and employers alike.

In an open letter to retail and commercial banking CEOs, another agency highlights the need to instill social distancing measures within outlets to ensure the safety of customers and employees alike. Though a growing number of banking institutions are shifting their operations online, as the letter proves, the need of the hour is to instead device hybrid models to guide the process of reopening physical branches. While on the one hand, it helps serve the interest of the most vulnerable clientele that cannot adapt to virtual paradigms, on the other, optimized workplace solutions help cut space cost– which accounts for the largest cost of business operations, by up to 30%.

An AI powered, flexible end-to-end digital solution which functions on a single platform can guide the way to reopening physical sites for financial operations. It would allow employees to book seats based on their needs, provide automated optimized seating plans in compliance with government regulations, monitor health data for both employees and customers, while also provide complete contact tracing for each individual that enters the bank. Further, by integrating contactless solutions, it will help minimize the risk of exposure, and through a thorough 10-step plan map the entire employee journey at an office or branch. This will not only instill a sense of security amongst employees returning to work, but will also assure customers that all their interactions are safe within a monitored site.

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With emerging trends predicting that individuals are going to be much less like to take risks and instead adopt much more conservative attitudes with investments, it falls on the shoulders of financial services to play the function of intermediaries and guide economies out of the red zone. A projection report found that the ramifications of total lockdowns brought on by the pandemic has led to a rising risk of recession in the most advanced economies. A Global Economic Forum report echoes these findings and highlights how the only way to remedy this is for banks to consider the immediate needs of the people, and play a larger social function than before. This function can only begin to be realised when bank and other financial institutions begin to adopt safe and sustainable technological solutions to pave the process of reopening, and cement the reputation of the banking industry in the long run.