How Are Financial Services Adapting to Covid-19

December 15, 2020 | Joyce Ibrahim


Prior to the pandemic, the financial services firms were still largely operating under traditional work models and processes, with employees coming in to offices, conducting in-person meetings and presentations. But the financial industry, which has long relied on face-to-face interaction and customer service to thrive, has been learning to adjust to the new state of things. Social distancing measures in particular have greatly boosted the need for remote solutions in financial services, from simple daily operations to even the most complex of processes, such as M&As. In fact, out of the hundreds of transactions Goldman Sachs advised on during the pandemic, 95% were done entirely through teleconferencing tools. The world’s top mergers advisor is even employing drone technology to give clients virtual visits of the companies they’re interested in acquiring.  


The impact of the pandemic extends from work flows and processes to customer service. Demand for digitized banking services is growing exponentially, with digital banking market size to surpass $12 trillion by 2026.  A survey conducted by Deloitte found that digitizing customer interactions was the top priority in financial services firms’ post-Covid strategies. And with the progress of fintech and digital transformation, customers now expect unprecedented levels of ease and convenience.


Apart from providing digitized solutions, financial services firms also learned the importance of developing a customer-centric experience across the entirety of the user journey, and making transactional and non-transactional experiences as easy as possible.


In economically unstable climates, trust becomes a key factor to gaining and retaining customers, and that is especially true for financial services. In fact, Trustpilot survey found that customers considered quality service and reputation the most important features of a financial institution, and more than half of those surveyed expressed that interactions with the company were more impactful than service fees.


While in recent years, investors and bank customers, namely millennials, have been willing to entrust innovative digital trading apps and robo-advisors with their money and business, their priority now is to seek security and experience, favoring established financial institutions. What’s more is that consumers have also grown increasingly selective and cautious, highlighting the importance of transparency and social consciousness in business, and making trust and brand values the focus of customer service post-Covid19.


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