In California and across the country, banks are considered an essential business. That's why they've been operating in some capacity even since the earliest stay-at-home orders were issued. But that's not to say that there haven't been major changes in how banks are doing business. The banking trends during COVID-19 have customers doing more remote banking than ever.
Between CDC recommendations, and state-mandated reopening plans, banks and other businesses have to follow a very specific set of in-person operating rules to keep everyone safe--customers and essential workers alike.
COVID-19 has brought some restrictions to how we do our banking, but also opportunities to try a new way of doing business, and chances to learn. Here are the latest banking trends.
Personal and business banking alike has had to go digital during this pandemic. For personal banking customers, fear of contracting the virus and adherence to stay-at-home orders are driving the switch. Businesses, on the other hand, are operating at reduced in-person capacities, so there may not be anyone around to head into the bank for transactions. This means they have to rely on digital payment processing and depositing at the very least.
Learning from your bank is even easier these days. If you've ever attended a seminar about financial products or services, you can get a very similar experience through its digital counterpart--the webinar. Additionally, banks usually maintain blogs that act as valuable resources as well, whether you want to learn about a new topic or product, or just need updated information about your bank's new operating procedures.
To adhere to social distancing guidelines, banks are limiting in-person transactions. Even though at the start of the pandemic branches without drive-through lanes or protective glass did have to close their lobbies, these days it's more likely that branch operating hours are restricted, and that in-person service is available by appointment only. Even drive-up banking is making a comeback where infrastructure already existed.
But to keep everyone safe, banks are encouraging customers to embrace online banking when possible to avoid long waits at the drive-thru or ATM.
There's a good chance that among these changes, the way you do your banking has changed, too. If that's the case, you're not alone. EY's Future Consumer Index report found that 43% of respondents had changed the way they were doing banking since COVID-19 restrictions have been put into place. If that's you, here are some tips for keeping up with the banking trends during COVID-19.
Just because you can't walk right into your bank doesn't mean you can't receive excellent service. Connect with your bank by phone, email or through online chat whenever you have questions about your account. Your bank can still guide you through options remotely and advise you on the best ways to conduct your usual business.
The key to a friction-free transition into COVID banking is understanding the new ways of business. Find out what the current hours are, whether you need an appointment to speak with a banker, and what transactions are possible through drive-thru or online banking. Depending on the size of your bank, you may be able to perform more transactions than before at the window or online.
If you're accustomed to conducting your banking in-person, shifting to digital can feel strange, even scary. But the more you understand digital security, the easier it is to adapt. You might notice that banks use multi-factor authentication to log into your online account, which is just a multi-step login process to make sure you are who you say you are. You'll probably also need to create a strong password that meets certain requirements. This is all for your account safety, but if you have any worries, you can always talk with your bank.
The impact of COVID-19 on banking is undeniable. Whether you're logging on for a webinar for the first time ever or embracing digital banking for deposits and transfers, getting comfortable with distance is a big part of COVID-19 banking trends. The changes we've made in banking and beyond may not last forever, but we can still embrace the new way of doing business that COVID-19 has created for now. [cite::171::cite] [cite::172::cite]