The Weekly Extract: April 13, 2020

  • Alex Jimenez
  • April 13, 2020

The Weekly Extract from Extractable is a condensed roundup of digital experience news for financial services institutions, and our take from San Francisco.

Conferences trending digital

As conferences and networking opportunities trend digital for the foreseeable future, we put together a listing of financial services, fintech, and tech conferences of interest that are virtual and free. While this is an unfortunate symptom of the current crisis precipitated by COVID-19, we are optimistic that current investment in virtual events will accelerate a more interconnected virtual future in which webinars and digital events provide even greater value.

Imagine a world in which networking, travel, and conference attendance costs are cut significantly — perhaps this will even allow for more equitable networking opportunities in the future.

If you sign up for all, you’ll be quite busy for the next three months:

 Deploying the Technology FSIs Need Now

In this unprecedented crisis, it is paramount that financial service companies and their technology vendors reframe the vendor onboarding process to deploy solutions quickly.

Amidst the crisis, we’ve heard from banks and vendors alike who are having trouble deploying technical solutions that can mitigate issues caused by COVID-19. We’ve written a guide for both bankers and vendors that can help you deploy the solutions you need now.

 The Future of Digital

The lasting results of post-COVID-19 digital adoption and transformation across the financial services vertical. Clearly, people are spending more time online, but will that translate to changing long-term behaviors?

Our Chief Strategy Officer, Alex Jimenez, is quoted in this article in the Financial Brand examining the impact of the crisis on the future of the branch:

“While people will experience the convenience of doing things remotely, I believe that the comfort of going back to what is familiar will be a stronger driver, at least in the short-term.”

According to App Annieweekly time spent in apps has grown 20% year over year as the population shelters in place. We’re seeing more people engaging with brands in social media, and while many brands have been able to respond well, we see many institutions that have yet to leverage that opportunity effectively.

PR Daily discussed best practices in using empathy to guide brands in the way they communicate. As always, it’s vital to share “content that will generate a meaningful relationship and connection between brand and consumer” instead of selling products.

For marketers, it’s a reminder that this isn’t the time to be aspirational but to be compassionate.

The question remains whether this is a good time to market at all. Gramercy Institute tackled this question with a group of Financial Services marketers. Geoffrey Underwood, VP Director of Brand Marketing at Eaton Vance notes:

“Maintaining a strong marketing presence through this crisis will differentiate the financial services brands. Strong financial brands will refocus, reallocate and figure out how to provide true value to their clients. Leadership brands will actually increase media spend with confidence. Weak brands will go dark.”

Meanwhile, many FSIs are acting rather than marketing. Jody Bhagat, President of Americas at Personetics, writes in Forbes that this is time for compassionate banking. He sees personalization as an imperative coming out of this crisis, in both digital and physical channels. He writes:

“It is vital for banks to leverage and interpret customers’ transaction and cash flow data, and deliver personalized insights and advice through digital means to help customers manage their day-to-day banking.” 

While we have been pleased to see more organizations talk about empathy when dealing with consumers; we don’t generally see the same sentiment when talking about dealing with business clients. That’s changing.

In an article in PYMNTSAbdul Raof Latiff, group head of the digital institutional banking group at Singapore-based DBS Bank, notes that “businesses of all types want to provide convenience, and FIs seeking to help them must first get an in-depth understanding of the clients’ priorities.” He’s definitely singing our song!

Paycheck Protection Woes and Wins

One of the bigger stories we were tracking this week was the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP. While at the end of last week there was a lot of finger-pointing due to a rough roll-out, many US financial service companies of all kinds have stepped-up in record time.

We saw fintech Plaid, giving lenders access to small business payroll data. Other fintech players stood-up “easy-to-use” SBA applications for banks and credit unions, including MXQ2, and Jack Henry. While many large banks struggled to get their PPP applications process going, community banks like Citizens Bank of Edmond in Oklahoma moved quickly to provide PPP loans.

Greenwich Associates surveyed 415 Small Businesses about the PPP. As of April 8th, over 80% of them had already applied. When asked about the process (which is ALWAYS the right question to ask to inform a better UX), SMBs are upset about how their banks are implementing the program.

Customers are looking for an easier application process, clearer communications on status (including confirmation/feedback), and a more proactive outreach. There is no question the country and the banks that serve it will come out of this.

The question is, how will your brand come out of this?

Let us know what you think of the Weekly Extract. Stay safe. And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and on twitter.

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