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Apr 16, 2020

In today's podcast, our Head of Advisory Services and Consulting, Simon Powley, will touch on what FIs are doing to protect their employees, while continuing to serve their customers during COVID-19 Crisis.

Replay On-Demand - April 29th Webinar:

Related Content:
Diebold Nixdorf COVID-19 Web Page: Page:


Amy Lombardo:                00:15                     Hello again, this is Amy Lombardo, your host for this episode of COMMERCE NOW. During a recent Diebold Nixdorf webinar with guest Forrester Research, we shared ongoing research tracking how financial institutions are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and what and how they are communicating to customers in this time of crisis. As the pandemic continues to grow and our economies continue to be impacted, how can financial institutions respond?

Amy Lombardo:                00:43                     Well today I'm joined by our head of advisory services and consulting, Simon Powley, and we're going to touch on what FIs are doing to protect their employees while continuing to serve their customers during this unprecedented time. So welcome Simon to COMMERCE NOW.

Simon Powley:                  00:59                     Oh, thanks Amy. It's great to be with you again.

Amy Lombardo:                01:01                     Awesome. So let's get started here. My first question for you is this webinar that we had recently here, we saw new consumer behaviors and also shifts in channel usage. Based on these changes, how are we seeing banks initially adapt and really cope with COVID-19? Are we seeing an importance for more digital initiatives and the usage of those digital channels?

Simon Powley:                  01:27                     Yeah. It's a great question, Amy. There's a lot of exciting things happening in the turmoil caused by COVID-19, especially for banks and financial institutions that are impacted by this.

Simon Powley:                  01:39                     I thought it was a great webinar. I listened to it a few weeks ago. I thought it was fantastic.

Simon Powley:                  01:44                     We're seeing a lot of changes. Early adaption is really driving a lot of changes in the way that they are operating and really touching customers. We're seeing branches being closed or certainly reduced hours. We're seeing call center volumes increasing dramatically as customers who are used to trying to reach out and communicate with their banks and be advised and guided through this. Obviously with the closures of banks they're looking to other channels to be able to service them. So it's been very interesting to see those changes.

Simon Powley:                  02:17                     I think not only are our customers beginning to see the value associated with these digital channels in times like this. What I mean by that is people that we were talking to executives out there and a lot of our customers with banks, they're getting a lot of questions from people who either did not see value in digital channels in the past or were reluctant to use them for whatever reason, really beginning to gravitate and begin to not only have interest in these particular channels and how they can self service their deposits or get questions asked or check balances or what have you. They're really looking for solutions from their banks on how to do this in a new vibrant way.

Simon Powley:                  02:58                     So we're certainly seeing those digital strategies and initiatives begin to change a lot for banks. It'll be very interesting, and we'll talk more about this in future, be very interesting to see how banks are defining their channels as a result of this and how they're leveraging that with their customer base.

Amy Lombardo:                03:16                     Right. That makes complete sense, and we see the news cycles and note that responses and reactions that they're changing quite constantly. Right? We're in this different place today than what we were weeks ago, a month ago, even at the turn of the calendar year.

Amy Lombardo:                03:31                     So with that said, what themes are you seeing emerge as the weeks change? Are bankers holding to their continuity plans? Are you seeing more gut reactions? What's that type of feedback you're hearing?

Simon Powley:                  03:45                     Yeah, it's a mixed bag. Absolutely. Things are changing extremely quickly. I think if asked, most senior executives or even CEOs within the organizations, over the last couple of days we've seen JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America kind of come out and everybody is repositioning and changing their 2020 strategy. Certainly you're seeing that from an earnings and how they're really dealing with this downturn in different ways.

Simon Powley:                  04:10                     So yes, certainly things have changed from the beginning of the year in the guidance that they're giving and their strategies are changing. From a week to week and a fluid environment I would call it is I think financial institutions are learning from this. So we're seeing a lot of trends emerge such as how do we leverage our digital channels again to be able to change with our customer base?

Simon Powley:                  04:34                     I saw an article come out even this morning from Lloyd's Bank that they will be providing educational seminars for people on their digital strategies and giving away iPads to customers that are impacted by COVID-19 and I think specifically for customers that are over 70 for instance.

Amy Lombardo:                04:53                     Oh wow.

Simon Powley:                  04:53                     Yeah. So those kinds of strategies are obviously new, and I think I'm hearing from a lot of banks really from an internal standpoint is as they're doing this they're saying, "Okay, here's ways that we've always done things. Everything's on the table right now. How do we open up and change the way? What are we learning for this and what ideas of solutions do we have from our teams in the organization on how we use this to begin to change the way we interact with our customers and clients? How do how we support them during this time?" So you're seeing a lot of interesting things and things come out, which is just exciting even in the midst of terrifying weeks in some cases for people.

Simon Powley:                  05:30                     So I think these continuity plans will continue to change. I think that we'll see a lot of people looking at new ways to reinvent the business and leverage a new way to talk to consumers.

Simon Powley:                  05:42                     When we look at how customers really want to be interacted with, you have to look at the experience driven by Amazon or a Microsoft or an Apple in terms of how you leverage the customer journey. Right now those journeys have been completely disrupted in the traditional sense. So those are completely being reinvented.

Simon Powley:                  06:06                     This I think in the long term will be very good for banks, and allowing them to be focused on PPP, the small business loans. The banks did not have long to stand those up and get those moving and being able to process those. So that took a tremendous amount of capacity.

Simon Powley:                  06:25                     When you have digital channels, and some of these strategies already outlined on how to help your customers without being touched by a human being for all of their needs, you're able to adapt and adjust a little bit more quickly. So they're fairing a little bit better I think right now. But even in the smaller maybe community banking space, they're coming up with good creative ways, and I think that they will re-look at how they want to interact with their customers and the value proposition of technology.

Amy Lombardo:                06:55                     Right. You mentioned something interesting about the tablets available for the elderly. It's interesting how the topic and the importance of financial inclusion is now coupled with how banks and credit unions are communicating how they can help here during this crisis.

Simon Powley:                  07:13                     Yeah. We touched on it a little bit and certainly we can talk more about this down the line. But around that I talked to several folks in the industry and you're absolutely right, Amy. What we're seeing is a proactive stance not only on driving the awareness of digital channels, but outreach to help customers in some very unique and interesting ways.

Amy Lombardo:                07:34                     Sure. That's an interesting point. Okay, so Simon, last question here. Is there a recommendation or best practice that FIs can use or approach with their business plan? Maybe even here, is the approach simply the current and near term plans to deal with this situation and take it more day by day, week by week?

Simon Powley:                  07:55                     I think it's a combination, amy. I think first of all, it's triaged, but we're beginning to get out of that triaged perspective. People are getting used to working at home from a corporate bank perspective and the branches, they're beginning to define their journeys and how they can operate in this environment.

Simon Powley:                  08:12                     The biggest thing you want to do right now is learn from this and gather as much data and information as you can, because what the next phase obviously is what are those business continuity plans going to look like and as you evolve, how do you create those and learn from that to change the way you're going to handle that the next time this comes up?

Simon Powley:                  08:30                     Then it's the longterm trajectory. Looking at the roadmap of are your products and services still the same need that they were going into that and how do you begin to look at what your plans are over the next, let's call it 12 to 36 months. How do those plannings change as a result of that?

Amy Lombardo:                08:46                     Yep, makes total sense. To hear more on this topic, listeners can listen to our on-demand webinar. Simon covers how to balance the needs of consumers, small and medium business clients and staff, the unique solutions FIs can put into action with digital automation at the forefront and the changing expectations for personalized experiences and operational efficiencies.

Amy Lombardo:                09:17                     Listen now at, and as always, thank you to our listeners for tuning in to another episode of COMMERCE NOW. Until next time, please keep checking back on iTunes or however you listen to your podcasts for new topics on COMMERCE NOW.