Studies Consider the Pandemic’s Lingering Impact on Financial Services
By Roy Urrico
Finopotamus aims to highlight white papers, surveys, analyses and reports that provide a glimpse as to what is taking place and/or impacting credit unions and other organizations in the financial services industry.
The pandemic has had an influence on financial services from both member and employee perspectives. A pair of studies takes a closer look on lingering impacts.
Pandemic Turning Consumers to Digital Banking
Three quarters of global consumers are now more likely to use digital banking in the next few months than before the pandemic, according to a new report from SaaS cloud banking platform provider Mambu. “The Financial Tribes You Need to Know” report surveyed 4,500 consumers globally, including 500 U.S. respondents.
The study also revealed 4 in 10 consumers tried online banking for the first time during the last 18 months and identified five key consumer groups, or “tribes,” that are driving the future of financial services. These include:
Techcelerators — Recent digital banking converts who turned to online services amid physical branch closures. This group is the largest tribe globally, accounting for a third of total respondents. More than half (57%) in this group are over 35 years old and most likely to have used online and digital banking services more frequently in the last 18 months.
Ethical Bankers — Young, purpose-driven savers that want to make a positive impact in the world. This tribe is the second largest globally, making up 31% of respondents, and nearly half (49%) are aged between 18 and 34. This group is most likely to pay a premium for financial services that help the environment or local communities and 78% prefer financial institutions that put purpose over profits.
Convenience cravers — Shoppers who want all-in-one services at their fingertips, and at no extra cost. This group makes up 23% of respondents globally and are predominantly middle-aged or older individuals — with 55% aged over 35. This group is least likely to pay a premium for services that save time or offer flexibility, expecting a best-in-class customer experience as standard.
“Covidpreneurs” — Entrepreneurs who set up their own business during the pandemic, in need of easy-to-use and reliable business banking services. It is the youngest tribe globally, with 64% aged under 35 and 25% under 25. This group is most likely to agree favorable business services are important in a financial institution and most likely to invest in traditional assets.
Neo Asset Hoarders — A new wave of banking users who want to buy, trade and hold assets. This group is the smallest, but rapidly growing. Two thirds are male and 55% are under the age of 35. This group is most likely to own neo assets, including cryptocurrency (75%) and non-fungible tokens (26%).
The U.S. identified in the study most commonly as Ethical Bankers (34%), closely followed by Techcelerators (30%) and Convenience Cravers (28%), and least commonly with Neo Asset Hoarders (4%).
Eugene Danilkis, CEO at Mambu, said: “Each tribe tells us something significant about the way consumer behavior is adapting and what banks must do to stay ahead of the curve. Traditional audience segmentation in financial services is outdated. The one-size-fits-all model, in which customers are divided based on how much they earn, or simple demographics, is redundant in a world of open finance and rich data.”
The Pandemic’s Lasting Effect on Financial Services Employees
“The Impact of the Pandemic on Financial Services Leaders” report by Chicago-based financial service research company BAI, conducted a survey in June 2021, surveyed more than 250 financial services employees to better understand how the pandemic touched their personal and professional lives.
The study revealed the pandemic has had positive and negative impacts on employees. While employees’ work/life balance (+12% net impact) and career development (+2%) showed positive net impacts, the research also showed negative impacts on mental health (-37%) physical health (-13%) and workload (-22%). According to BAI, human resources leaders are taking note and looking at ways to preserve the positive impacts of the pandemic work environment, while helping employees work through personal challenges they are facing.
The report also revealed 88.3% responded “Yes” to whether their organization created a culture where every voice is welcome, heard and respected; 80% of employees feel their organization has enabled them to balance their work and personal life; 86% of employees feel respected and included in their organization; and while 71% of financial services employees worked from home during the pandemic’s peak, that has not impaired their ability to connect with teammates.
“Increased remote work arrangements with more flexibility in where and when employees work has predictably had a positive impact on work/life balance,” said Karl Dahlgren, managing director at BAI. “However, for the long-term health and engagement of their employees, it is important for financial services leaders to better understand and act on other negative impacts from the pandemic.”
As more and more workers return to the office, managing and maintaining some of the positive outcomes of working during the pandemic is vital. BAI recommended financial services organizations need to do:
Continue to encourage work/life balance, offering flexibility regarding the location and timing of work, even after team members return to the office environment.
Help employees improve their mental and physical health, including removing the stigma around mental health issues, extending health benefits like counseling services and offering incentives for healthy lifestyle choices.
Watch the work habits and workload of employees, encouraging them to take adequate breaks and vacations to avoid burnout and make sure leaders model the way in limiting after-hour communications.
Maintain their positive culture and continue to ensure employees feel heard and respected wherever they work, such as by recognizing employee contributions and asking for and listening to feedback.
Further a sense of connection for employees that continue off-site, especially for new hires. Consider social hours, video chats, and virtual team-building activities.