Demand and disruption are giving power and shape to new post-pandemic digital realities. The demand for refinances, fueled by extraordinary interest rates, will continue as the market allows. The pandemic’s disruption of our companies and communities in many ways is irreversible. To great credit, many companies weathered the initial challenges, making the forced change in operations to nearly 100% digital. Yet it can be observed and argued, successful temporary change is not the same as digital resilience.
In 2020, the pace of technology adoption, even among the most traditional players, accelerated considerably. It helped businesses navigate troubled times with resilience. Riding on strong economic fundamentals and a favorable regulatory climate, the fintech industry focused on digital transformation. Legacy systems steadily embraced modern technology. The industry shed its inhibitions around public cloud for better data management, breaking silos, and transforming the core infrastructure. Many in the financial sector adopted RPA and AI-led process enhancement for efficiency and agility. And, now amidst uncertainty, it is time for businesses to drive focused consumer innovation with real-time analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
Embrace Chatbots and Digital Assistants
Interest in conversational AI, specifically chatbots and digital assistants, has been growing for several years. This interest has been spurred in part by the success of Bank of America’s virtual assistant Erica and Capital One’s Eno, but the pandemic is forcing a more rapid ramp-up of the technology. To effectively leverage AI-powered chatbots, lenders must leverage data and analytics related to common questions and queries received to better understand and learn which responses are the most helpful to customers. For example, making use of chatbots to let customers schedule or reschedule appointments with lenders.
Elevate CX as Customer Routines and Expectations Shift
Likewise, customer routines and expectations may also shift further in meaningful proportions, both in terms of digital adaptation and the expectation for proactive communication and care. Operational resiliency is also bound to remain critical with mounting risks of pandemics, societal and geopolitical tensions, and climate change. Financial institutions should carefully draw on the lessons that the current situation offers and use them to expedite their digital transformation journey while building a much higher degree of both operational and financial resiliency.
Deepen Customer Empathy
With financial partners having to connect remotely and experiencing the dependency for digital touchpoints, the need to catering to customers’ needs wherever they are, is more important than ever before. It is where fintech should make it possible to face crises like this with agility. As a FinTech company operating in a time of massive global uncertainty, the most important thing we can do is provide fast, stable technology so our clients can focus on running their business.
Empathy and decisiveness are the two essential qualities that a crisis like this would need. Your ability to empathize with people in your business and your key relationships will ensure support and loyalty. Decisiveness towards survival, and later investing, will move the needle forward, businesses with quality customer service and empathetic support. Remember, when businesses help customers when they need it the most, customers remember the experience, and it builds brand loyalty over the long term.
Harness the Power of Digital Payments
Technology has emerged as the most important factor leading to business continuity plans. While countries across the world face lockdowns, digital financial transactions have remained mainly uninterrupted. There can be no more significant proof of the necessity of digital transformation and technology adoption.
And, this has ensured the business as usual (BAU) remains uninterrupted. Organizations that have failed to invest in digital services are at an “even greater risk” of losing out on new and existing clients. Companies need simple, intuitive, and secure means to operate their businesses in uncertain times, more than ever.
This undeniably will encourage more fintech companies to accelerate their pace of digital transformation despite the pressure on economies in the next few months. Fintech organizations should now focus on delivering bespoke consumer experience across channels. Rapid transformation with data-driven consumer engagements must now become imperative.
Single tap payment, real-time transparent transactions, faster issue resolution, and greater trust in digital transactions – the recent events have magnified their success and resilience and should continue to perform in the era of social distancing. It is time for Fintech companies to synchronize their strategy operations and technologies and adapt to the changing times. It will also indicate cross-fertilization of technologies across domains for cohesive solutions delivering maximum value in lesser time.
Purposeful Collaboration through a Strategic Partnership
Strategic partnerships to take products to new markets and acquire a larger customer base swiftly should be on top of the agenda. Businesses should consider collaborating between two or more players, consolidating their offering to deliver a more personalized experience and higher value to the consumer through seamless systems integration without disrupting business as usual. As uncertainty prevails, plug and play platform services will be in huge demand to aid seamless collaboration. And therefore, fintech solution providers must come prepared with ready integrators and APIs.
Prioritize and Iterate
Unlike regulatory stress testing, this is not a hypothetical exercise. Stress-test results have direct implications for decisions fintech companies are making in real-time. They need to identify which industries and segments are in most imminent danger and quickly analyze and monitor data for early warning signals. That base will allow them to build a fuller view of the economic landscape iteratively, as the pandemic evolves.
Final Thoughts: Survival of the Fittest- Bouncing Back
Some fintech organizations may retrench and try to save costs because of the financial stress that results from the massive shutdowns caused by the pandemic. However, others will go beyond looking for efficiencies to create completely new business models that will impact all components of performance. Right now, there is an opportunity to re-evaluate how digital technology, insight, and analytics can accelerate the future growth and competitiveness of financial institutions globally. Remember, success stories post-pandemic will ride on next-gen technologies, and businesses leading the change will rule the market.
Today it is pandemic, tomorrow it can be something else as well, but a solution to these kinds of disruption to a greater extent is ‘Digital Transformation’. Be prepared to tackle times like these and embark on the journey of digital transformation and innovation.
To gain a deeper understanding of how Tavant can help you with your digital transformation initiatives in the changing times, reach out to us at [email protected].
Matthew Wood is Senior Director of Fintech at Tavant. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., Tavant is a digital products and solutions company that provides impactful results to its customers across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Founded in 2000, the company employs more than 2,500 people and is a recognized top employer. Tavant is creating an AI-powered intelligent lending enterprise by reimagining customer experiences, driving operational efficiencies, and improving collaboration.