Market volatility and ever-shifting compliance regulations have long led to some degree of instability within the financial services industry. Now, especially, the impact of Coronavirus has left financial services facing the worst global economic decline since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Left unchecked, this could lead to floundering markets, unattainable interest rates, and a range of further escalating financial implications.
Luckily, despite bleak predictions during the height of lockdowns last year, experts have already found that the economy is recovering faster than predicted. This suggests that, despite undeniable pressure, financial services could come out of the pandemic largely unscathed. However, the ongoing ripples of impact on even high-end bankers is proof that recovery isn’t going to happen on its own. Rather, action is needed across the financial sector to facilitate fast, widespread recoveries. But, what exactly does that look like?
Reimagining financial environments
Commercial environments have generally shifted exponentially since Coronavirus hit, with office workers, especially, operating remotely for well over a year now. Within financial services, too, a shift into home working has led to major industry shakeups. The most notable example of this is perhaps the trading floor, where unprecedented shifts towards home-based trading have facilitated the need for zero-trust networks to ensure location-independent safe access. More generally, work-from-anywhere solutions also require high-speed connectivity, secure network transactions, and flexible hardware to support remote workers across the financial services sector.
As is the case with a great many industries at the moment, digitisation is another key cog in the financial services machine, especially as contactless payments and online banking continue to soar. Most notably right now, 74% of global consumers state that they’ll continue to use contactless payments past the pandemic. What’s more, the nature of those payments is set to keep on changing exponentially as tips for trading cryptocurrencies and requirements for crypto payments also continue to rise alongside shifts within the trading world. To stay ahead, financiers must, therefore, continue to invest not only in digital platforms but also in the artificial intelligence capabilities that ensure they remain on the digital cutting edge.
Modernising core systems
That leads us nicely onto our last point, which is the need for all financial services companies to modernise core systems that are often shamefully outdated. During the pandemic, this saw fairly standard processes like loan approvals and manual reviews becoming bottlenecks which, if left to escalate, are guaranteed to make recovery much harder to come by. By taking this chance to modernise, financiers avoid this risk, especially if they move towards core systems that are agile, scalable, and resilient towards the changes that are surely still on the horizon.
No industry has come out of the pandemic unscathed, but with economic blows alongside crucial precautions like loan holidays, the financial services sector has certainly taken a heavy hit. Luckily, there’s nothing to say that recovery isn’t possible, but a little physical therapy, implemented with the help of these pointers, is certainly key to getting finances back on their feet at long last.