The future of banking after the pandemic is already in your hands
Two years ago, you might be surprised if you stopped at your local bank to make a transaction and found that the branch was closed due to a drastic decrease in foot traffic. But such is the situation today. Banks are closing physical branches, not because they are losing customers, but because the bank has taken a new, faster and more profitable direction thanks to the pandemic.
Think of it this way: if you had the option of being able to complete all your financial transactions quickly and smoothly without ever having to travel to a branch of your bank and without additional costs, would you take it? The real question though is, who wouldn’t take it? That’s the lesson that nearly two years of the COVID pandemic have helped banks learn.
Going into a global lockdown to mitigate the spread of the virus meant the banking industry, like every other industry, had to find new ways to keep operations afloat. This has led to a widespread transformation into digital operations that have allowed employees to work remotely while continuing to provide services and customers to access those services without having to walk into a physical bank. But beyond being a response to lockdown, m-banking has driven the evolution of banking with the advent of solutions that mean the future of banking can be even more transparent, cost-effective and efficient.
Nowadays, you don’t need to be physically present at a bank to open an account, to register at an ATM, to apply for a loan, not when you have a mobile device. You don’t have to provide all sorts of documents and paperwork, because technological solutions also mean smoother processes that can effectively reduce and replace older analog processes. This has led to the rise of neobanks. With neobanks, you only access financial and banking services digitally through apps, software, and other digital technologies. This, in turn, has been instrumental in expanding access to important ﬁnancial services such as loans and overdrafts.
This proliferation of ﬁntech companies and digital innovation by already established ﬁnancial institutions has created the perfect opportunity for people who were hitherto unbanked to gain much-needed access to ﬁnancial services.
It is quite significant that you can now open a bank account in most West African countries by dialing a ussd code, which also allows you to access a loan by simply following the prompts on your phone portable. The pandemic may have brought pain and distress, but it has also brought much-needed innovation and new direction to the banking industry. With our cell phones and other digital gadgets, we know for sure that we hold the future of banking in our hands.