COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on businesses all over the world. From SMEs to large enterprises in various sectors and industries, the pandemic has caused significant changes to operations today. The demand for online services increased dramatically overnight when government-imposed lockdowns came into effect to control the spread of the virus.
While businesses have had some online presence or a digital transformation plan, many scrambled to ensure their businesses remain relevant and could continue operations. For banks and financial service institutions (FSIs), having an online presence was simply not enough. While customers were still able to conduct transactions online on banking websites, banks and FSIs still needed to have a stronger digital presence.
According to a survey by PWC on consumers in November 2019, 45% of Malaysians prefer virtual banking services that offer mobile and digital experience. The study also highlighted how downtime would damage the customer experience and lead to a drop in trust on the particular bank. This clearly shows that even before the pandemic, consumer demand for digital services was already increasing.
This means banks and FSIs today need to be able to do almost every function possible online. At present, the online presence of banks and FSIs were only at a surface level, and there was more that can be done.
The changing landscape since the pandemic brings a new reality whereby consumers hold the key to whether or not a business can survive. Banking customers want to be able to have a seamless experience when they do their transactions online, and banks need to be able to provide that platform for them. The increase in app-based platforms for banking is becoming a convenient way for consumers.
Updating systems is also no easy task. Any form of downtime, especially for banks and FSIs, can be costly. Yet, banks need to modernise to remain relevant. Traditional banks are already facing the challenge of cloud-native digital age specialist competitors who are seemingly more agile and able to develop online services. E-wallets, for example, are fast becoming a tremendous competitor when it comes to spending habits. Consumers prefer to use mobile phones for transactions instead of debit or credit cards these days.
Banks and FSIs can look into this by allowing their services to be integrated with these e-wallets and other apps. Perhaps collaborating with other services from other industries to make it more convenient for consumers is the way forward. By developing tools that can provide convenience to customers, for example, like a single app for all uses, banks and FSIs may have a stronger presence.
At the same time, while banks and FSIs consider adopting new technologies, they face governance and regulatory challenges. Banks and FSIs will have to prove to regulators that they are able to meet all regulatory requirements when moving to new technology. This includes maintaining the privacy of clients and also ensuring the solutions used are well secured and protected.
To help banks and FSIs modernise their systems without disrupting their services, Silverlake Axis and IBM will be organising a webinar. The webinar will explain how banks and FSIs can modernise their services with ease using Straight Through Banking’s (STB) modularised, and resilient technology.
The webinar will focus on the banking industry in the era of COVID-19 and how IBM’s Power 9 solution can help. There will also be a discussion with a local bank on how they have successfully implemented and upgraded their system against all the odds during the height of the pandemic.
Click here to register.