2020 Forecasts: Views from the top – Major talking points of 2020 and key priorities for 2021
Jon Blakeney, Group MD at I-AM for Retail Banker
2020 review and 2021 Predictions
The pandemic has changed the way consumers think, feel and act. They expect the brands they engage with to support them with these changes.
One example of these behavioural changes is that bank branch usage for services has declined dramatically. Hence, there is now a need to rethink the very purpose of the branch and move towards a more experiential strategy over functional and solely transactional one. This need is also driven by developments in the broader retail high street, where the role of spaces is bifurcating. Brands now need to either offer convenience or host an experience, and for banking, convenience will increasingly shift online.
Technology, Wellbeing, accountability & Social Reconnection
These shifts that we see are driven mainly by four macro consumer trends, which are: Technology, Wellbeing, Accountability and Social Reconnection. These trends are already having a significant impact on the world of finance and will be the drivers of change in 2021 and beyond. As part of these changes, consumers are becoming more self and socially aware, seeking solutions that genuinely benefit their lives and those within the community.
All the changes that we see connect back to the four macro trends, mentioned. The pandemic has hastened the demise of cash and accelerated the use and prevalence of contactless; this momentum will continue.
It has also been a financial shock for many and recovery will require extended support and flexibility from banks. Customers will also expect banks to have an active role in societal issues, providing transparent & fair services, enabling financial literacy. To connect with these customer lifestyles, banks will need to consider cross-sector collaborations and partnerships to expand their offerings and services to encompass various life touchpoints.
We look towards 2021 and beyond we will see significant change within banking and a radical move away from product led relationships to a life-led strategy. This evolution will only be possible if financial institutions are able to move closer to the centre of each individual’s circle of trust. This higher level of trust will allow banks to regain their once central role within communities with a perfect blend of life led thinking.