The Coronavirus created an unprecedented disruption to businesses of all types and sizes. In many cases, it forced closures or accelerated the demise of business, such as retailers, who were already struggling. On the other extreme, businesses like Amazon and other digital based enterprises seized the opportunity with record growth and profits. The way of conducting business has changed and those who have adapted are seeing success, while those who are unwilling, or unable, to change face an uncertain future.
The past 90 days have seen our society come to a screeching halt with mandatory lockdowns, social distancing and “flatten the curve”, leaving organizations scrambling to adapt to the unprecedented impact Coronavirus had on operations. In many banks I deal with, staff was pulled from their normal jobs to fill the sudden need to process an ocean of PPP loan requests. Other staff was moved to develop and implement new operating procedures and infrastructure to support remote workers or re-design facilities to enhance the safety of employees and customers.
Coronavirus also had some interesting impacts on Panini’s business. Even though remote deposit capture has been available in the market since 2004, and some consider it a mature solution, Panini witnessed a tremendous increase in RDC related activity during March and April. Banks and their customers were embracing (or reembracing) the capability to support banking transactions remotely.
Conversely, projects related to retail branch transformation slowed significantly during the COVID-19 lockdowns as bankers were dealing with the crisis of the day. Now, as the economy and banks are beginning to return to normal, we are experiencing a sudden resurgence in branch focused projects. More than one banker has shared that the business issue generating the need for the branch transformation project did not go away during Coronavirus, rather it became even more important.
COVID-19 served as a catalyst for bankers to realize they must change their branch operating model to one that is more efficient, cost effective and secure. It is no longer something they would like to do; it is now something they must do. The way of conducting business for a bank and their retail branch network has changed over the past 90 days. Those who adapt will see success, while those who are unwilling or unable to change will face an uncertain future.
EVP Sales, Panini