Ways In Which The Banking Sector Can Mitigate The COVID-19 Crisis

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Ways In Which The Banking Sector Can Mitigate The COVID-19 Crisis

Posted by Madhu Gupta

The Banking Sector has already undergone significant changes to meet modern-day needs even before the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, life in the pandemic has forced the banking sector to adapt, innovate and develop fintech to suit the needs of people. Banks now have a great deal of responsibility in these economically tense times to provide their services effectively.


How Banking Sector Can Mitigate the COVID-19 Crisis


Customers must easily reach out to banks to avail their services in these times. Contactless banking is now the way to go. Easy, quick and smart accessibility is the need of the hour. Therefore, banks must provide the appropriate technology platforms to meet the various customer's digital needs. Thus, the digital channels must always remain available and open to the customers


It is also necessary to encourage people not to visit the branch unless necessary. Banks must orient their customers to the online channels of communication as much as possible. They will also have to make sure that these communication channels are robust and safe. Banks must find innovative ways to reach out to their customers and engage with them beyond the mere traditional communication channels.

 

Banks must also update all their web pages and display personalised banners made for the crisis now prevailing. These websites must captivate their visitors' attention and foster the practice of mobile banking and online banking. Banks must find ways for people to download and use the banking apps on their smartphones. 


Banks must keep themselves informed about their customers and ensure that there are ample security measures for the customers who are not tech-savvy and are more vulnerable to cyber threats. The Banks can also go one step further in providing digital education to the community's vulnerable section and help them understand the capabilities of the digital banking world


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It is also essential for the bank to keep these features cheerful and human as the digital world can look very cold and strictly purposeful. There must be a human element that considers while developing all these apps and incorporating features that can generate feelings of trust, warmth, and safety during the pandemic.


Customers should now have a say in how they would like to engage with the bank. So, the automation of the banking processes must not be too cold. It should be people-centred. There should be an easy password reset option, reasonable identification requirements and 24x7 friendly customer service.


Banks now must inform their customers about the precautions to prevent the virus from the spread. They must sanitise All bank branches, ATMs and currency notes. The employees must have their daily temperature checked and recorded. They must use the necessary equipment like gloves and shields and encourage the customers to use the sanitisers. There must be social distancing in the queues for ATMs and bank branches and appointments with bank managers.


For the employees working at the branches, banks must make sure that working spaces are customised so that the incidence of the virus spreading is reduced to an absolute minimum, allowing the employees to feel safe in their workspace. It might also be worth making the shift to employees purely working from home and establishing digital socialising avenues for workers to interact with each other.


Banks have to be sensitive to the issues of these times and must create products and provide services that cater to the needs of the customers, especially those affected by the crisis. Banks must try not to take undue advantage of the pandemic situation to further their interests. Banks need to be a bit more relaxed, easy-going and liberal in these times. By offering relaxation in EMIs, waiving charges, easing the banking norms, and providing emergency facilities, banks can address the customers' complex needs in these uncertain times.


Community development and local community initiatives are now needed more than ever. Spreading awareness of the covid-19 virus, encouraging people to stay at their homes, cooperating with the government, helping it in various assistance programs to uplift the people and revive the economy, and advancing credit on good repayment terms is required these times that we face.


These times necessitate the need for banking services to be highly focused on the customer and create value. Banks undoubtedly play a significant role in soothing the wounds suffered in these economic disruptions. Banks must be willing to keep the customer's needs at the forefront of their awareness while effectively considering their institutional concerns, short-term and long-term needs. 


Customers are naturally more observant of what bank serves them the most and what bank doesn't. So, banks must perform welfare functions such as provide some measure of financial stability to people who have lost jobs in the pandemic.


As Banks face an insurmountable amount of responsibility on their shoulders, it is essential to manage the cash effectively so that the bank always knows where it stood, where it stands and how it will perform in the future. Managing cash flow in times of crisis is no small feat. Banks must accurately evaluate their current position and the impact of the pandemic on their cash flow. And so, cash forecasting to make an accurate prediction of immediate future needs is crucial.


Banks must stick close to their customers in these times. Therefore, the pandemic ultimately necessitates the simplification of banking processes and providing services at a lower cost. The software that banks use must be simple and must not regularly undergo maintenance or have heavy upgrades. They must have low maintenance costs and be easy to maintain.


In Conclusion:


The Banking Sector will now have to adapt to the crisis dramatically. There is likely to be a considerable amount of restructuring of the sector. The traditional ways that we know have likely taken an irrecoverable hit. Change is very evident in the ecosystem. Banks will have to rethink and substitute their old ways of engagement with new, cooperative and sustainable ones to keep the economy afloat.

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