CEO Vladimirs Remi has been getting some press recently with his thoughts on how Fintech companies can lead the way to our ‘new normal’.
The coronavirus pandemic has had world-altering consequences on every industry. Some industries, like retail and personal services, were shut down completely, while others, like the financial service industry, became even more important to people’s daily lives.
When returning to normal life, financial services and FinTech companies need to be sure that their activities are compliant with the new conditions says Vladimirs Remi.
So how has the world changed during the coronavirus lockdown and how financial service companies and FinTech firms meeting these new challenges? What’s a given is during the lockdown and the opening of business people are still heavily reliant on the Internet and online services.
Reliance on Digital Services
Nearly every aspect of modern life during the pandemic has been touched by changing consumer behaviors and economic conditions. While banks and financial offices largely remained open during the pandemic, the public did not feel comfortable visiting their branches in person. The average consumer needed to become much more familiar with their bank or lender’s website and mobile apps.
Financial service companies, including FinTech firms, needed to expand the capabilities of their online services. Features such as mobile check deposit required to be made more robust. Banking apps needed to become easier to use, taking a small complication out of customers’ lives.
When it came to investments, consumers were not able to visit with their advisors in person, as most of them were obliged to work from home. Consumers became less dependent upon their advisors’ personal tips and became more likely to trade on their own using the InternetInternet and mobile apps.
The Plunging Stock Market
The severe disruptions in stock markets around the world have led to near economic collapse. While many investors have seen their portfolios shrink to nearly nothing, others are taking advantage of the low prices produced by the pandemic. Investors are betting on the fact that the economy has dipped as low as it is going to go.
The Impact of Reopening Economies
As the spring and summer of 2020 passed by, many economies around the world began to reopen. Using precautions like social distancing and personal protective equipment, sectors like restaurants, retail, and personal services started to come back online. Unfortunately, some states and cities began to open too quickly, causing resurgences in the number of COVID-19 cases and the possibility of resumed lockdowns if the disease spreads further.
Some regions did not take the danger of reopening too quickly very seriously, spurred on by the encouragement of the federal government. The situation suffered from mixed messages from different parts of the federal government, with the executive branch urging reopening while health agencies warned that it was too soon.
Vladimirs says in areas that may potentially close again due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, the financial industry will rely even more heavily on FinTech. Technology firms in the financial sector need to be on the lookout for opportunities to expand their line of business and help consumers through these difficult times.
International Travelers and Students
The pandemic has made a huge impact on the status of international travel. International students were, in many cases, forced to return to their home countries. Land borders were closed in many areas except for commercial and essential traffic. Leisure and business travelers struggled to return to their home countries as flights were canceled around the world.
The pandemic’s chilling effect on international travel has continued, and no one knows when the previous state of global mobility will be reached again. While this does not have a direct impact on the financial services industry, the general effect on global economies must be noted.
Taking Stock of the Economy
With the loss of millions of jobs in the United States and around the world, Vladimirs Remi explains that the economy is on shaky ground. Consumer confidence has plummeted, along with people’s incomes. People who have lost their jobs are struggling to make ends meet and trying to apply for state and federal economic relief. The stimulus payments provided for in the CARES Act have been well-received, but they provided only a small amount of relief for most families.
The economy does have the potential to return to normal, especially when manufacturing, retail, and service companies can come up to full capacity. Businesses will hire back many of their workers, but many people will need to change careers as a result of contractions in their industry.
Returning to Normal Life
Consumer behaviors may have changed permanently. Consumers have become accustomed to managing their banking and investments through online avenues, and, likely, many of them will never return to their previous habit of visiting branches in person. This could lead to a drop in employment in the financial sector.
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every area of modern life. Banks, investment firms, and FinTech companies need to be able to adapt to these shifting conditions as they arise. Vladimirs Remi points toward the pandemic as one of the defining aspects of life in the twenty-first century and recognizes that the business world may have changed permanently as a result.