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Financial Services emerging stronger from COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the world. Introducing new challenges to solve. With all kinds of restrictions and lockdown to limit the damage caused by the virus we had to rely on technology. For most this was also an eyeopener. With finance and banking being at the core of technological advancements, was affected the most.

During COVID-19, around the world people have been trying to avoid or limit any face to face contact with any entities. Naturally with many cities under lockdown, the use of various facilities like banks branches and ATMs has been reduced drastically. This has lead to people using of digital channels for banking, payments etc,which is overall more efficient and faster compared with traditional methods. This has also allowed banks to cut down on the number of branches, saving cost. Call centers are more efficient in dealing with exceptions and errors than branch visits. 

Consumers will always require cash for day to day and business needs. However, recent events combined with technological advancements are all moving towards being a cashless society. Today, anyone can choose to go completely cashless in most parts of the world. This is a triumph in itself for technology and finance.

The shift in the mode of operations has resulted in the load being shifted to digital channels like web,mobile, connected wearable devices backed by call centers. This sudden shift during COVID had increased stress on these technology platforms resulting in digital services buckling under load with services being disrupted. An issue that had to be solved fast as it affects the reputation with customers and growth.

Institutions had to re-evaluate and divert capital expenditure to meet this new challenge. Budgets had to be moved inline with changing customer habits with more capital being made available to improve digital platforms and cutting back on other areas. Growth Strategies had to change either for short, medium or long term depending on the interpretation of COVID and its impact. Delivery of product and services had to be realigned with the new growth strategy. Technology being at its forefront.

Adding expensive hardware to scale technology platforms vertically does not always work and is not necessary in the current world. Modernizing the existing platforms to scale and adjust performance depending on load is more cost effective and efficient. Cloud computing could provide an answer for such issues, they provide the elasticity needed to cope with this seasonal change in demand, by increasing or decreasing capacity on the fly. After all with wearable devices being more and more popular we could be connected to the bank in more ways than we think.

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