The Increased Need for Contactless Banking

Peter-Jan van de Venn
Publication Date
9 April 2020

The Increased Need for Contactless Banking

With the Corona virus going around the world now, the need for less physical contact has become the highest priority. People are adhering to the “social distancing” rules that are imposed by their governments and are using digital ways to communicate with each other. It is encouraging to see how easily people switch to making remote communication “the new normal”. Within weeks teachers are switching to classes via online tooling, consultants have digital workshops, online pub quizzes are organized, virtual drinks with friends take place, sport classes are online and museums push their virtual tours. It seems that in a fingersnap the world has found new ways to keep doing the activities it used to do.

Also the financial sector is adapting quickly, says our Strategy Director FinTech. First of all there are great initiatives in some countries that provide businesses with delayed installments and support with government backed credit. But in the digital field there are also services amended and introduced, such as expanding limits for contactless card payments, to allow people to not use the pin pad at POS payments and Western Union introduced “digital location’, a service which enables users to send and receive money from the comfort of their own home.

While there is already a rapidly increasing demand for digital banking services due to the big tech impact, I’m convinced that the current situation will be an accelerator for the demand for digital or even better contactless banking services for the longer term. If you take into account how quickly the world adopted the switch to digital communication, there is a huge opportunity for banks to fit their customers needs by providing more contactless banking services.

And yes, there is a need for the less digital savvy people to still visit the branch for banking and it is good that banks still make it possible to service these customers. But those who set their priorities to make all their services accessible online or contactless , apart from the offline channels, will certainly have a better opportunity to survive and thrive. By digitization of some specific services it is a challenge to find the right balance between the human element (the personal touch) and full automation. In these cases videoconferencing and the more innovative virtual assistants will help in creating the right experience.

Going digital starts at step 1 in the customer lifecycle: Onboarding new clients or new products.
Even in these times it is amazing to see that there are still many banks that don’t provide a full digital onboarding for their clients. With modern core banking systems, combined with IDV/KYC providers and workflow systems also complex onboardings can be provided digitally. By using these types of technologies, CX experts can build the perfect journeys, creatives add the right look and feel and engineers can make sure it works seamlessly and integrates with the right systems. Furthermore, banks can’t get away anymore by saying regulation prevents them by doing this, because most regulators allow it these days.

The great thing is that digital (thus automated) onboarding is basically a win-win-win (yes 3 times!) strategy. First of all the customer wins due to the easiness of the process (and the non-physical contact as a bonus in these times), the bank wins because the customer is happy and the costs of digital onboarding are low compared to physical onboarding, and the regulator should be happy because automated processes are more consistent, reliable and auditable.

So I assume we will see an increase in the number of banks that understand the current additional need for contactless banking and that will review and adjust their onboarding processes soon.

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