The topic on everyone’s mind today, and for the past few weeks, has been the coronavirus outbreak. On March-11, WHO has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic . This has directly impacted daily life and is adversely affecting economies of numerous countries.
Impact on Financial Institutions
The coronavirus outbreak is already impacting financial markets and this has an immediate effect on the core business of financial institutions - taking and lending money. If financial institutions are unable to perform these activities - their existence as we know it today will be soon threatened. A lot of cost-cutting activities will need to start to ensure the institution even remains operational. This means that the amount of money spent on customer service, customer acquisition and overall operations will be severely impacted.
The ability of staff to operate from offices and branches will become challenging as there is an expectation that a government mandate to remain indoors may be in the offering to contain the spread of the virus. This is a trend already seen in other countries and across other industries.
Change in Consumer Behavior
The spread of the virus is impacting consumer behavior and consumer behavior will continue to change as days progress. Consumers will expedite their move to digital channels to avoid human contact at branches and other public places. These channels will become key for financial institutions as consumers will have high expectations with respect to experiences provided on these channels.
If these channels are not set up to provide access to all services and personalized customer service, financial institutions could lose a lot of customers.
Threat of Fintech
There is also a great possibility of fintechs acquiring these customers as they are better equipped to serve customers on digital channels. The changing customer dynamics may force the government to ease certain regulations that are currently keeping fintechs at bay.
Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) are the best bet for Financial Institutions to quickly provide customers with industry best digital experiences 24x7. They possess the following advantages -
- Go-live within a couple of weeks
- Enable context aware and personalized 1-1 conversation with customers
- Enable upto 50% reduction in operational costs
- Enable upto 40% increase in new customer sign ups leading to new revenues
IVAs are currently creating ripples in the market due to the large ROI they are enabling for Financial Institutions. They might just be the saviors of the financial industry in these testing times.