That’s the way you’ve been reading over and over these past few days. And rightly so! As my colleague Nicolas Huelsmann wrote, Corona (or COVID-19) is the accelerator for the digital transformation of workplaces (https://gravning.de/unternehmen-koennen-wenn-sie-wollen-muessen-covid-19-als-accelerator-zur-transformation-von-future-workplaces/). You only have to take a look around in the closest environment; the 2006 youth of the Uhlenhorst-Adler is trained by using zoom, we at Gravning have rolled out teams and JIRA within a few days and the after-work beer is available virtually via Webex and Skype.
The evangelists for card payment outdo each other on Twitter, among others, with the latest reports on card acceptance among (former) “ignorants”; it’s also not too difficult to see that “cashless” and “contactless” are the bids of the hour and have finally got the necessary tailwind (and the necessary new acceptance points); “thanks” to Corona.
Both developments show that people are able to react quickly to new situations. Employees and the economy show that they are “there” when it counts. I am convinced that the above trends will continue; cash will become more important again after the crisis and with the end of fear of contact, but the acceptance points of modern payment methods will not decrease. Many companies will recognize the advantages of decentralized and flexible work when they look back at the experiences of the Corona era and will not only accept but also promote this in areas where this work makes sense. In the end, home office (or better mobile office) for companies means a reduced need for desks, offices, buildings, space … and increases the attractiveness as an employer. However, real cooperation in discussions and workshops will always be important.
As profoundly as Corona influences daily life and economic activity, the associated need for change is just as massive, and it does not stop at “cashless” and “home office”. As a spontaneous reaction to the pandemic, immediate measures are being initiated that will last longer than one can currently imagine. Developments that have been talked about for a long time will accelerate considerably and will take hold faster than would have been the case without Corona.
Which sustainable developments in banking will experience a “corona boost”? My current TOP10 in non-priority order:
1. Increase in acceptance points and decrease in cash ratio at POS
2. Increasing decentralisation and flexibilisation of work
3. Focusing on digital and cloud-based communication and collaboration tools and thus breaking up previous thinking patterns in the area of IT security and banking supervision
4. Significant increase in the online/mobile banking usage rate (first of all, all banks; whether the Challenger will benefit in the long term remains to be seen)
5. Massive acceleration of the reduction of bank branches (during the Corona crisis, customers noticed that banking works well even without a branch)
6. Consolidation in the banking sector (due to customer defaults, many smaller institutions will have to take refuge with larger ones)
7. Process automation (as an enabler for processes with participants in at least three physically separate locations – customer, store employees, back office employees)
8. All banking offers will be available online and mobile; products that were previously considered too complex (asset management, special financing), etc., will also be available.
9. Factoring as a short-term financing option or liquidity optimization will become a standard offer of many banks and no longer be left to special providers
10. The cooperation between Fintechs and banks becomes essential for both sides.
To be continued ….. Which trends in Banking & Finance do you see that (will) experience an unexpected acceleration through Corona?
I look forward to receiving feedback!