Andrew Anastasiou, the fintech entrepreneur who is responsible for founding some of the most influential and widely used payment services currently on the market quoted that “online banking and digital payments need to adapt to a new way of life after Covid-19”.
Online banking has come a long way since it became mainstream globally 20 years ago, with ICICI being one of the first banks to champion its usage back in 1996. However, the traditional usage is still prevalent and Andrew Anastasiou explained that online banking needs to become more user-friendly to encourage a digital transformation. Almost 90% of bank account holders have access to online banking, but the actual amount of account holders who use the service is a little over 60% of that. Andrew Anastasiou said that the reason for this is that the innovation behind traditional banks improving their users’ online experiences is almost non-existent and it has been left to Neo-banks to provide a more “modern” and “friendly” platform.
Companies like WireWallet, which Andrew Anastasiou founded in 2018 have created a simple user interface for their users and this means that not only is it easy for the customer to log in and make daily use of their account, it also means that the level of support required by the customer is minimal as all information can be found in the FAQ section of the website, essentially allowing the customer to troubleshoot any issues that they may come across on their own.
On the other extreme, traditional Banks have made it almost impossible for their customers to be able to find the answers they need to very basic questions such as currency exchange rates, service fees, and sending time frames. This means that Banks must have a larger telephone and email support system, as well as needing extra staff in their brick and mortar branches to be able to make physical transactions on behalf of customers who may not have the know-how when it comes to making online transactions. Andrew Anastasiou suggested that this may be the issue when it comes to bringing about a safer retail daily banking experience, and that the simple procedure of creating a more user-friendly online banking process amid the Covid-19 pandemic should be brought in as soon as possible.
Nobody knows what the life of an everyday person will be like when it comes to banking after the pandemic, but what is certain is that Banks and online banking platforms need to make their services more efficient and compatible with the variety of customers they have, and be much more transparent when it comes to fees and services to avoid the need for physical support on digitally suitable transactions.