COVID-19 is changing how we use technology, especially in banking: bringing a new way of working, more digital experiences and permanent use of AI

Before the appearance of COVID-19, technological changes were already here, marked by trends such as the internet of things, blockchain and the importance of device management.

And although digital transformation has touched many sectors, it is banking that has the most to gain from the use of web channels and apps, more so than the telecommunications, transport and accommodation industries, according to a study by Minsait.

Now, in the midst of the pandemic, it’s clear that the adoption of technologies is no longer optional as a long-term priority. So what imminent changes are we facing?

Home office, a profitable option

As a result of isolation measures, the way of working in many organizations has changed. Some managed to adapt quickly thanks to the cloud and collaborative platforms for staff, which has allowed them to easily connect remotely.

The need for digital connectivity tools in recent weeks has driven demand for technology solutions such as video conferencing, more efficient laptops or computers, project management applications, cloud providers, and more.

Video communication solutions will emerge as a dominant factor in digital onboarding, among other applications in the banking industry.

Of course, attention to digital security is also essential, so it is important to use encryption tools to safeguard communications.

It is likely that this trend for remote working will continue and evolve further once lockdowns are lifted, so companies will also be more willing to invest in them. In short, telework is a technological change resulting from COVID-19 that will remain in the long term – even more so with the help of efficient technology.

The future of banking

It is clear that traditional banking, as we know it, will change dramatically. Among the fastest transformations will be the adoption of virtual channels. As a result of lockdowns and the search for more sanitary measures (especially to avoid contact with cash), customers are increasingly exploring these options.

The second major technological shift as a result of COVID-19 will be partnering with technology providers to find digital solutions to reach underserved groups. Digital transformation – this time driving a more inclusive approach – will gain relevance. Think about digital onboarding solutions, for example, which facilitate the registration of accounts or banking products in a 100% digital and remote way.

The adoption of technologies such as tokenization, to guarantee the security of digital payments in an era where e-commerce is booming, will be essential for the sector. Likewise, technology-based security tools that banks can implement in their digital channels will be key: biometric verification, push notifications, second factor of authentication, among others.

AI growth in all sectors

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be one of the most widely-used digital automation tools, since it allows to problems to be detected quickly and thereby improve the user experience.

In the health sector, for example, the application of artificial intelligence is still modest, largely due to the lack of understanding around potential benefits to productivity, costs and medical results.

In dramatic scenarios – such as the current one – AI is of great help in facilitating the development of a vaccine, monitoring people who have tested positive, developing treatments and medicines, and much more.

Of course, banking will be no stranger to this growing usage of AI, especially as omni-channel solutions that allow the bank to be in constant contact with users become increasingly important. The world’s biggest banks understand that AI will be vital to providing better customer service, through services such as chatbots, as well as to strengthen their cybersecurity systems, among other tasks.

AI is a tool that will continue evolving. COVID-19 has highlighted important new uses for the technology across industries.

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