Comment: It’s twist or bust time for traditional banks

“While we are seeing positive news regarding a vaccine, banks cannot afford to sit back and wait for things to return to normal. Now is the time for banks, both traditional and challenger, to be proactive.

“For the challenger banks, it’s crucial that they continue to innovate in an effort to remain one step ahead of their traditional competitors. Meanwhile, traditional banks must recognise that the pandemic has likely caused a permanent shift in consumer attitudes. In fact, 59% of customers said they’d pay more to buy or use products and services from a company that provided them with a good customer experience over lockdown. Customer experience is assuming greater importance versus price and reputation.

“For traditional banks to succeed in this new world, they must take on the last mile of digitalisation. Now more than ever, it is vital that customers can complete processes without setting foot in a branch. Currently, due to paperwork and in-branch checks, this is often impossible when banking with traditional banks. With digital customers rising by 11% since the pandemic, added to an existing 58%, there is huge opportunity for banks to streamline their customer experience. Traditional banks are quickly losing the stick or twist option; it’s rapidly becoming twist or bust.”

Alex Kwiatkowski, Principal Industry Consultant, Global Banking Practice, SAS