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How Financial Services Can Enhance The Digital Customer Experience In The Pandemic Age

How Financial Services Can Enhance The Digital Customer Experience In The Pandemic Age

CEO at Urjanet, helping organizations impact people, planet and profits using our innovative cloud-based data service.

Digital transformation in banking and lending has been underway for several years, but the pace is accelerating as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. As banks pivot from branch footprint expansion to an omni-channel strategy, the truly digital customer experience is finally here. 

To be competitive throughout the pandemic and after it, building a customer-focused, digital-first institution is a must as customer-centric banks outperform their more traditional peers. Investments in data innovation can help streamline this shift to online experiences and also yield substantial returns. One study showed that banks and credit unions that digitize processes can achieve a 20% increase in revenues and a 30% decline in expenses.

This requires not just financial services institutions but also their partners and suppliers to rethink how they leverage data and technology. My own company has had to refocus our product roadmap, service model and support tools for our financial services customers in light of the Covid-19 pandemic to deliver better digital processes. Corporately, we’ve also had to adjust how we interact with banking and lending customers, most recently shifting our annual customer conference from an in-person event in Atlanta to a series of digital events. In September, we met virtually with these industry leaders and their solution providers to hear how they are adapting to the new global circumstances with data innovation and new customer experiences.

Consumers demand simple, trustworthy experiences from financial institutions.

Customers’ expectations are rising when it comes to banking and data privacy. According to EY’s customer research, only 60% of consumers are comfortable sharing personal information with their primary financial service provider without any assurance regarding data protection and security. Features like full price transparency, hyper-personalization and clear ownership

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Dawn breaks on a new age of economic thinking

Dawn breaks on a new age of economic thinking

The deepest economic crises are also crucibles for new economic thinking. The Depression led to Keynesian macroeconomics. The second world war cemented support for the welfare state and the mixed economy. The inflationary 1970s and the oil shocks propelled free-market ideas to power.

We should expect the coronavirus pandemic, which amounts to the greatest peacetime economic disruption in living memory, also to lead to big shifts in the consensus on what is good economic policy. To see the direction of change, look to that guardian of economic orthodoxy, the IMF.

Every year, in the lead-up to its annual meetings — the 2020 forum is about to start — it publishes the “analytical chapters” of its flagship publications. The growth forecasts issued at the meetings are what will hit the headlines. But the underlying analyses often provide deeper insight into changing economic conditions and the shifting realities of economic policymaking.

IMF economists are hardly at the forefront of radicalism, but they have often shown the way once the world’s economic policymaking elites are ready to move. In the past decade, IMF research has lent authority to several reversals of the pre-existing consensus (and its own previous views), such as giving qualified approval to capital controls and upgrading the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus. It has played down the harm it expects from high public debt. In each case the IMF imprimatur has made it easier for national governments to shift policy in the indicated direction.

So what is the fund’s thinking today? Its three latest analytical chapters are all noteworthy. The fund’s Fiscal Monitor analyses public investment, which has been on a downward trend since the start of the millennium. Its researchers find that, provided it is well-directed, public investment is particularly powerful in uncertain times. The most striking effect is

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