How is coronavirus impacting the financial sector – and how are brands responding?
e effects of the ongoing coronavirus crisis are being felt in almost every sector. From retail and consumer packaged goods to entertainment, sports, and of course travel and leisure, every sector is being impacted in a different way and is facing down its own unique challenges. The financial services sector is currently facing challenges on multiple fronts: banks have reduced their opening hours and in many cases can only serve a few customers at a time due to social distancing rules, putting additional strain on channels like telephone service, online banking and social media. At the same time, record numbers of consumers are frantically trying to contact their bank with questions, concerns or to request special measures as their finances have been impacted by the fallout from the coronavirus – many have lost jobs, seen their incomes vanish, and are in fear of defaulting on loans or missing mortgage payments. Businesses, too, are in need of additional help as many have seen their revenue drop dramatically or dry up altogether. Meanwhile, fintech firms may be facing a drop in demand as customers opt for safer, more predictable investments in the current fraught environment, although some will be well-placed to benefit from the increased demand for online and mobile banking and payments. Many are even offering their services to consumers and businesses for free while the coronavirus crisis is ongoing. The situation will require constant, careful handling from finance companies as they seek to reassure consumers, respond to their concerns, and earn their trust during this volatile period – and a lot may depend on just how well companies’ digital infrastructure and services can handle the increased demand.