The Covid-19 pandemic has indeed changed lives around the world. Times like these bring out the good in everything, at least, I would like to believe so. People residing in metro cities have been making use of cashless payments but if we move to the rest of the country, the penetration of cashless payments is still not as per expectations. Security, transparency, reliability of the operations are all concerns. But then it is basic human nature to be sceptical of new technology especially when it involves hard-earned money.

Earlier this year, when governments announced lock-down across the globe, that was when people started to realise that they were left with no choice but to try out cashless payments. Public and private sector banks were encouraged to help the customers with online transactions. I remember my friend, who works in a bank – she mentioned the umpteen number of calls from customers and how the technicalities were patiently explained to them. Well, this kept the businesses moving as they were able to bring a majority of their digital products to the fore.

The increase in use of digital banking products has opened up new and varied avenues. Experts suggest that the aftermath of the pandemic is mostly likely to accelerate the possibilities of digital banking products. For example, if once you get your account statement online, you would generally think of the same way next time, rather than going to brick and mortar banks. Just imagining spending too much time waiting for your turn at the bank automatically makes you switch back to online systems.

Research suggests that one in three consumers globally would be willing to transfer their primary banking relationship to a digital-only bank-thanks to the fast-paced world around us, people incline towards quicker results. Now that a whole lot of people have started going for digital systems, the next question would be how to increase customer satisfaction. As we know, Customer is always the king (the parameter which does not seem to change at all no matter what), so seamless customer experience is now the key feature to focus on. Business firms need to concentrate on enriching customer experience and sustaining it as that. is an area where they would face competition.

one in three consumers globally would be willing to transfer their primary banking relationship to a digital-only bank

Certain areas that we still need to strengthen are Security and Transparency. Cyber crimes like identity theft, cyber stalking, phishing scams are concerns which have to be addressed on an urgent basis. In its 2018 Internet Crime Report, the FBI’s IC3 reports that the organization receives an average of 300,000 cybercrime-related complaints per year — that is an average of 900 complaints per day. The ways and means of addressing these are still in question – but the first step always comes from oneself. The ‘Rbisay ‘from the Reserve Bank of India provides timely guidelines on not sending personal information or banking information via email, SMS or over phone to anyone as these are sensitive information that you should not share with anyone. The customers will have to be informed and explained about the possible implications of disclosing their private information. Date of birth, Social Security numbers and passwords constitute one’s personal information which should never be shared online. Creating awareness among the customers regarding this is the responsibility of the bank. It is crucial that all banks of the country come up with statutory bodies to evaluate and closely monitor, issue standards of operations, measures and rules to help with the concerns. This definitely involves constant research efforts as digital banking also has lots of loopholes that have to be plugged.

The pandemic has indeed opened up new opportunities and increased the customer base when it comes to online banking. If expert research is to be believed, the post pandemic era would present a whole new banking experience; a strategic shift from retail banking to the new world of effective digital banking. The banks which would research on providing a safe and rich customer experience with regard to the digital products, would definitely be the champions of success.