The ongoing pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic forced prompt digitization of financial and banking solutions across the globe. While it might have been a difficult wake-up call for many banking institutions, it also provided immense opportunities for incumbents, neobanks, and big tech to evolve their offerings.
With this transition, it was very clear that ensuring the smooth adoption of digital channels was a key focus for many financial institutions, including Canada’s largest bank – the Royal Bank of Canada.
Jouk Pleiter, CEO & Co-founder of Backbase, and Peter Tilton, SVP Digital at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) recently discussed how a digital transformation can benefit banks pre and post-pandemic, highlighting the importance of digital channel adoption.
Two megatrends revealed for servicing and digital advisor connectivity
RBC experienced a massive increase in customers migrating to digital channels for payments. More than half of its customers started using digital channels for transactional activities – increasing from 88% to 94.5% in the first five months of the pandemic.
“When it comes to digitizing advice, only 2-3% were happening remotely before the pandemic while today, this number has risen to 73%,” said Peter.
Banks who already utilized omni-technology could pivot to this shift in customer needs more quickly. This would be achieved by offering advisors solutions like digital identity verification, so they could connect to customers remotely.
“Solutions already built for digital could rapidly be deployed to advisors due to omni-technology,” Peter explained.
“Despite the pandemic, people still want to visit branches so it’s expected that people will return to face-to-face interactions. That being said, the role of the advisor will be both physical and digital.”
While prioritizing digital is a necessity, it’s also still important that customers have the option to visit a branch if that is their preferred option. This ensures the customers have completely engaged in whichever way is best for them.