How COVID-19 pushed banking online

Date:7 July 2020 Author: Adrian Brown

As the world looks towards what is in store for various industries after COVID-19, banking is one area that will have to change a lot to accommodate the needs of people across the globe.

The future of banking is one that will be driven by cutting-edge technology as one of the world’s largest cash machine makers, Diebold Nixdorf says the pandemic will decrease cash transactions by as much as 30% with another 10% decline expected in 2021.

Slowly but surely banking is becoming a digital experience and banks need to provide contactless and safe experiences for customers to stay relevant.

Speaking to the Telegram UK, vice president and head of financial services for Diebold Nixdorf, Matt Phillips says ATMs must be given new technology features from mobile phone authentication to facial recognition. According to Phillips the willingness to invest in such technology in the financial industry is all that is missing.

“This will accelerate the need for more technological transformation than we have seen historically. Some of the financial institutions are laggards when it comes to technology,”he told PA news agency. “Post COVID-19 and the way consumer behaviour might change is a bit of a kick up the bum for these financial institutions.”

However, South Africa has already been one of the countries at the forefront of the digital transition in banking, in addition to being a cash-heavy economy.

Users in the country have already rated banks with the highest convenience, user-friendly interfaces and affordability as the best.

All major brick-and-mortar banking institutions, Standard Bank, Nedbank, FNB and ABSA, have created comprehensive digital platforms so users barely need to come into physical banks to complete most transactions.

The rise in digital-only banks had also begun before the pandemic, such as Tyme Bank, which had no physical banks but rather only installations in shopping centres for users.

These digital interactions increased during lockdown, as physical banks were required to close, pushing those who had previously been interacting with ATMs and cash to move online.

While the future of banking is digital, there is no doubt the pandemic has accelerated this move globally and in South Africa.

Picture: Unsplash

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