As the financial industry navigates the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is clear: digital banking has never been more important to financial institutions and their customers. While digital channels like mobile banking apps have always offered convenience, they now offer physical safety as well.
With a digital approach to these extraordinary circumstances, banks and their customers can rest assured that social distancing does not mean financial isolation. Here are six best practices your institution can use to encourage and enhance digital banking channels given the unprecedented nature of COVID-19.
1. Regularly Update Customers on Hours and Closures
Banks should consistently post accurate location hours on their website and other digital channels. The most effective strategies leverage custom messaging like texts to keep customers informed about branch closures, changes to hours, updates in services and operations or anything else related to COVID-19.
2. Enable Self-Enrollment
Given the high demand for digital banking during this period, it is beneficial to ease the enrollment process. Encouraging self-enrollment in digital banking services allows customers to enroll in and begin using these banking services without visiting a branch or overwhelming your call staff.
3. Emphasize Your Digital Banking Services
Banks can and should use social media, messaging on their website and other available channels to educate customers about the many benefits of digital banking. These messages can remind an institution’s entire customer base that they can bank safely from home with services like ApplePay/AndroidPay, mobile deposit, bill pay, P2P payments and account transfers.
4. Provide Free Mobile Deposits
Banks that are currently charging a fee for mobile deposits should consider making this a free service during the pandemic to further encourage customers to stay home and meet deposit needs.
5. Raise Mobile Deposit Limits
Raising mobile deposit limits encourages deposits through remote channels, which also decreases the need for your customers—both consumers and businesses—to make deposits in person.
6. Implement Methods to Request Skipping Payments
For financial institutions considering flexibility on payments, custom forms can be used to create a method for customers to request skipping payments. Allowing customers flexibility on payments through digital channels like a banking mobile app can alleviate undue stress during an overly stressful time.
COVID-19 changed many aspects of society almost overnight, and led many to worry about both physical and financial health. Fortunately, digital banking is the perfect tool to maintain a sense of normalcy despite abnormal circumstances. Following these practices enables financial institutions to stay ahead of the uncertainty and deliver a sense of calm in the storm.
Check out this connecting with customers video for additional tips to help your institution adjust to this evolving situation and serve your customers through digital banking channels.
Steve Kent is senior director, Digital Strategy, at CSI.