Data reveals banking customers turn to digital at higher rates one year post COVID outbreak 

It didn’t take long for people to surmise that COVID would “forever change the way we [insert adjective of choice].” Live, work, dress, exercise, socialize, etc.

Within weeks (if not days) of the stay-at-home mandate in mid-March 2020, countless headlines and commercials predicted that every aspect of life would somehow never be the same.

A few of my favorite examples: 

  • Home furnishings – desks for remote learning students and work-from-home parents alike, motivational quote boards, and lamps. Hard to come by in the first few months…and now cluttering clearance aisles with big red markdown stickers.  
  • Fashion – comfortable stretchy pants and zoom-friendly WFH attire in every color. Will we ever go back to zippered pants? Wouldn’t hurt my feelings.  
  • The way we shop for food – whether stockpiling non-perishable essentials, to grocery delivery, to disinfecting anything and everything brought in from the outside world. 

The truth is, the pandemic did challenge and change many aspects of our lives. Some big, some small. Some for better, some for worse. Time will tell which will stick, and which will rapidly reverse.

How about banking? In our research and analysis of working with 400+ financial institutions across North America, we know for a fact that the pandemic made profound, and so far, – lasting impacts

Banks and credit unions had to make drastic changes to the way they serviced their members and customers, as well as how to support their own employees.  

Fact: Bank and credit union branches had to shut down (most temporality, some permanently) or reduce their hours to allow for proper social distancing, as well as to mitigate staffing shortages.  

Fact: Consumers had to shift more of their banking from in-person to online. Digital adoption of online and mobile banking took off. 

Fact: Banking employees worked from home and FIs had to adopt hybrid workplace models, challenging the way employees access systems, knowledge, and lean into their peers.

Fact: Call centers were overwhelmed with an onslaught of calls, emails, and chats. Many still struggle to maintain average service levels due to volume and the nature of calls.  

One of the most obvious changes in the world of consumer and business banking was the mass migration to digital banking. 

But, how are these trends faring 1+ year after the pandemic outbreak? Here’s how the “digital-first” banking behavior has progressed: 

#1: Self-service activity on bank and credit union websites increased 69% from March 2020 to March 2021 

#2: Usage of self-service content on mobile banking apps increased 82% 

#3: Chatbot usage increased 272% 

#4: Customers pre-scheduled 79% more appointments in March 2021 than in March 2020 

#5: Banking by appointment continues to grow, even as branches have re-opened. The greatest increase in appointment setting has been for business banking and retail banking appointments specifically. 

Download the full report below to learn more.

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