Mobile banking and telephone channel gain prominence during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of human contact to solve problems, as the telephone channels have seen a rise in use, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Sean Harrison, Lead Banking Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The number of active telephone banking customers has almost doubled since 2017, indicating that digital channels are not strong enough to resolve consumer problems.

“Mobile usage is also growing. This channel saw a 15 percentage point (pp) increase between 2017 and 2020. Online banking, on the other hand, saw a 9pp decline over the same period, which suggests the digital channel is not yet ready to handle major consumer enquiries.”

Globally, the number of active branch users declined from 30% in 2017 to 22% in 2020. At the rate of the current trend, active branch users will be just 16% in 2023, half the amount of 2017.

Harrison adds: “It would be wrong to assume that the spike in digital adoption will lead to full digital conversion. GlobalData also does not expect it to be a Rubicon for digital adoption, but banks will have to develop this aspect. Telephone banking will increase in popularity as it will be the remaining human channel. In order to avoid overburdening call centers, banks must invest in chatbots to ease the load. Chatbots that proactively contact customers to improve awareness of capabilities would be useful in encouraging consumers to use different channels.”

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