The pandemic, among other consequences, led to a Mundial economic crisis with contours we cannot estimate yet. Financial Institutions were not prepared for this change and strongly felt the impact.
In April, occured a 72% increase in the use of financial apps by customers in Europe. For the experience to be appealing, the first contact with the application must be simple to understand, practical and direct. Currently, the customer has no fault tolerance, lower performance or delays, and wants a quick and personalized experience.
Even those who felt serious reservations regarding digitalization were forced to integrate new ways to interact with these institutions - for most of their daily transactions and processes that pass to the digital channels.
It is necessary to bear in mind that the financial sector is a fundamental part of our daily life and the global economy. People want to plan their future, seek solutions from banks, and this requires 24/7 customer service. Given the covid-19 constraints, the option was to incorporate digital platforms, which must be user-friendly - efficient use and integration, customer relationship management, and omnichannel services.
The customer should start and end the process on different platforms without losing any information through personalized assistance and on-demand service.
Even before the lockdown, we have seen a gradual decrease in physical money use and the increasing relevance of start-ups and fintechs. Digital payment, especially contactless, has been prevalent in all sectors of society. Financial institutions must ensure their role in this change, as digital payment applications and forms must also meet consumer needs and expectations.
Security appears as a big concern, transforming the increase in fraud attempts during this period one of the most debated issues. The anti-fraud protection systems' constant update is necessary. The number of people who sought to access their banks digitally increased exponentially, and this access may have been through unprotected networks. People must be informed about security issues but to have security and authentication services up to date is a Financial Institution's responsibility.
These digital services can be very successful with the support of artificial intelligence (AI). Where AI can be implemented and have the most impact for a bank is in the front office for customer service and problem-solving issues. 40% of the Millennial generation uses digital channels. With chatbots and virtual assistants available 24/7, the possibility of making online transactions and opening and closing accounts digitally leads to a profound transformation of the concept of banking.
This crisis was the catalyst for the Financial Institutions' future - digital, updated, adapted for each client, and available 24/7.
The demand for these digital channels will continue to grow. Consumers want the most affordable service to date, and it is up to the banks to offer it. As with all business models, if we do not attempt customers' needs - we will be left behind.