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3 Insights About How Banks Are Responding to COVID-19

October 27, 2020|0 min read
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As part of our Money Experience Summit, we interviewed Dan Latimore, Chief Research Officer at Celent, who discusses data he’s uncovered about how the banking industry is responding to COVID-19. “My key role as CRO is to collect a whole lot of dots and connect them across industries, technologies, and customer behavior,” he says. It all starts with raw data collected firsthand by Celent. We've included three insights here, but you can register for the whole event to see them all. 

In a survey of bankers about IT budgets after COVID-19, Celent found that:

  • 10% say their IT budgets have increased by 5% or more
  • 29% say their IT budgets have increased by 1-5%
  • 44% say there’s been no change
  • 10% say their IT budgets have decreased 1-5%
  • 7% say their IT budgets have decreased by 5% or more

Covid bank budgets

This represents a major shift across the banking industry as a whole. As Latimore says, “Today there is not a strategic decision that a bank or an insurer makes that doesn't have a technical component.” 

Celent also found that while COVID-19 disrupted many aspects of banking, more than half are continuing as planned. Specifically, 81% say core product systems are continuing as planned, and 63% say mobile and online banking are continuing as planned. By contrast, only 38% say branch and ATM initiatives are continuing as planned.

Covid bank priorities

As more people download mobile apps out of necessity, it will change banking. “Once you go to mobile banking, you've gotten over that hump of trying it, and you're going to be much more likely to use it,” Latimore explains. “It's going to accelerate less use of branches.” He continues, “One of the most salient and not unexpected points is the uptick across the board in digital engagement. Because if you're not out and about, you can be in front of a screen and take advantage of all that extra pixel real estate that you've got.”

All of this results in the growing primacy of digital technology. Latimore says, “Our suspicion is that customers have a little bit of a reservoir of goodwill, supplemented by inertia before they start leaving. But if they are unwilling to go into a branch and want digital, you are going to need to have a mobile app or online interface that is up to the task. And at a certain point, if the bank doesn't provide that, you as a customer are going to go looking elsewhere. And that's where the huge upturn in new investments in these different kinds of technologies that we've laid out here is coming from.”

Specifically, they found that the area of most immediate focus for enhancement has been mobile and online banking, followed by customer onboarding.

Covid bank priorities

This shows the importance of getting mobile right — especially as it increasingly becomes the most important channel in the wake of COVID-19. 

Also see our Ultimate Guide to Mobile Banking. 

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