Almost half of European executives see Covid-19 digital shift as permanent, survey finds

A survey by Swedish open banking platform Tink has found 41% of European financial executives believe the shift online caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is permanent.

According to Tink, the findings suggest that Covid-19 has ‘irreversibly increased’ the shift to digital financial services. The survey was focused on gaining insight into the thoughts of financial executives around Europe.

Due to consumers and businesses alike being required to adapt to the circumstances imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, many people of all age groups have had to become acquainted to using more digital services – leading to the digitalisation of financial services being accelerated.

The report found that despite recent increased digital transformation, 65% of financial executives across Europe believe that banks need to bolster their speed of innovation. This desire for innovation has spurred a strengthened appetite for financial institutions to leverage technologies, with 68% of survey respondents saying their interest in open banking has climbed during the pandemic.

Furthermore, 74% of responding executives see an increased need to enhance their digital services – such as to streamline onboarding and manage more customer digitally – while 70% claim to be more focused on the customer experience. In addition, 68% of financial executives have an increased focus on restoring profitability through streamlining and automating business processes.

On the other hand, however, 59% of executives still see the transition to digital as a ‘short-term blip’ and expect things to eventually return to normal. Similarly, 67% of respondents think Covid-19 has bolstered business risk, despite potential signs of economic danger on the horizon.

Tink CEO and co-founder Daniel Kjellén said, “The pandemic has forced many executives to remedy the lack of personal interaction with customers by focusing on delivering digital services. But this has also provided a way of creating more value for the customer, while increasing insights to identify or even predict potential risks and new demands.

“Financial institutions have seen that open banking technology presents opportunities to increase the speed of innovation, introduce new commercial streams and revenue opportunities while enabling operational efficiencies that will benefit their business long term.

“But there are also many executives who are expecting things to go back to normal, who will need a plan on how to respond and where to focus their digitalisation efforts as the transformation of financial services continues to pick up pace. We have set out to help empower the pioneers of financial services – the banks that are looking at technology not as a cost, but as an opportunity to improve many of the things they do today. How they operate internally, how they deliver their products, and how they will serve their customers in a post-pandemic world.”

The published report can be accessed in full here.

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