During this great uncertainty, customers around the globe have cut down on their spending. Financial service companies are feeling this drastic change and are rushing to provide the much needed support for their clients.
Customers now need support from their banks on credit terms
Many have lost their jobs and some have been furloughed.
Filipinos now fear losing their jobs completely as this crisis continues. Customers are forced to cut their spending due to loss of income and minimal savings. This greatly affects paying the bills, loans, and fees on time.
At this time of uncertainty, banks have made credit terms bearable and lenient in pursuant of The Bayanihan to Heal as One act proposed by the Philippine government. This will also help out those who are having financial instability at this time of crisis.
Two months worth of fees were waived, staggered payment has been implemented, and late fees were canceled. Continuing this new implementation of banking will make processes easier for both parties to survive the pandemic and thrive even after.
Online and mobile payments are increasing
Since the start of social distancing, cash payments have decreased and customers rely on bank transfers or deposits using mobile apps and/or mobile payment methods. (E.g. E-wallet like GCASH, PayMaya etc.)
According to GlobalWebIndex, 51% still prefer to pay in cash. But with the fast rising of E-Commerce and M-Commerce, more and more Filipinos are going cashless and are using digital payment methods.
Easy-to-access apps and websites
This evolution of technology is an advantage to many, but how do banks make it accessible to everyone?
Because customers are rushing to use mobile and e-banking, financial services companies are now fast tracking their digital transformation strategies. They are rapidly changing online customer journeys to make websites more user-friendly and improve the user experience.
This keeps customers happy and also cuts down on their own operational costs (because manual repetitive work can be time consuming and cause high manpower costs).
New products that will protect the finances of the customers
During this hard time, banks are also rethinking their entire portfolio.
By creating new products that focus on wealth protection and much more lenient credit terms, they better meet the current needs of their customers. Changing parts of their business model such as lower interest rates and enhanced risk policies helps the banks protect their customers better in crisis.
Protecting the finances of the customers is the number one priority and giving them options & affordable products will lift them up and will make them feel that banks are there for the customers at this point in time.
Digital platforms help improve the marketing and sales customer journey
Banks are using digital strategies to stay connected with their customers. By actively finding more customers online, they are able to find their audiences, whom they previously needed to walk into a bank branch prior to this crisis.
Another item needed is the automation of customer service to help their existing customers. By using conversation automation, for example, banks can serve a high volume of customers at once. Of course, for the more complex queries, they can easily connect a human representative to the client.
Digital solutions are not only used to communicate, but also to listen to the customers sentiments, preferences, lifestyle, and routines. This is important now more than ever.
During this crisis, it is key for banks to continue providing the support for their customers. But while they continue to build the technology needed for digital transformation, they also need to remember that the world is in crisis. They cannot lose the empathy for their customers. This should be embedded across all customer facing units and also for internal employee facing departments.