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Why financial institutions must leverage technology to align with the ‘new normal’

Why financial institutions must leverage technology to align with the ‘new normal’

Organisations that accelerate their digital strategies are likely to be the businesses that will see an effective economic ‘bounceback’

For financial services organisations, finding the balance between tech innovation versus regulatory and compliance obligations has, understandably, favoured the latter.

However, as the current pandemic has shown, businesses need both flexibility and resilience to adapt to rapidly changing conditions, with the correct infrastructure underpinning the operational approach.

We have to take a long-term view because the current situation is unprecedented. The much discussed ‘new normal’ that emerges in the coming months will be characterised by an increased focus on operational resilience, a need to ensure the safety of employees and the suitability of their environment, and an acceleration of tech-enabled solutions and digital workflows that address the needs of a semi-remote workforce.

The complicating factor in this picture is that we are likely to be living with low interest rates for some time to come. This constrains the ability of financial institutions to invest in these solutions. Along with what may become the worst recession in living memory, reduced interest rates will drive financial services institutions to become more efficient, reduce silos and get smarter about how they deliver digital transformation.

Investment budgets may be slashed, and the programmes that do go ahead will need to deliver rapid time to value.

This is where ServiceNow has a huge role to play. As we continue to release solutions specifically designed for financial services, we can help organisations slash development times for new services – optimising investment by giving them the ability to build something or create a prototype – rather than spending months pondering business cases or detailed designs.

ServiceNow has been working hard to help businesses navigate the impact of Covid-19. At the heart of our efforts is a new suite of capabilities released as part of our Covid-19 Customer Care Programme, developed to support our customers in managing the impact of the crisis while maintaining our commitment to deliver.

We have also been developing solutions for financial services specifically, recognising that the pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for banks and insurers particularly.

Managing the crisis and its ‘long tail’
An example is the new small business loan management that has been released by our partner INRY, based on ServiceNow customer service management (CSM) technology. It’s designed to help streamline the process of getting much-needed financial help to businesses impacted by the pandemic.

The app was developed directly in response to the challenge many financial services providers in the US faced in dealing with the sheer volume of applications they received from the SBA paycheck protection programme.

Banks faced a very immediate problem, so the app needed to be built quickly. It was – total development time was four weeks from the app’s conception to deployment with customers. The app is now readily available to help any bank or lender manage the huge influx of applications they are experiencing.

The need now moves on from loan application to loan maintenance, and in some cases forgiveness. The app is also designed to help banks manage the inevitable long tail of enquiries, disputes and resolutions that can result from these government schemes.

Digital transformation has never been more important. The organisations that accelerate their digital strategies are likely to be the businesses that will come out of the recovery best, with an effective economic ‘bounce back’ being driven by those who can effectively harness powerful technology-enabled solutions.

With these new tools, ServiceNow is helping financial organisations find the balance they need between the optimisation of investment and the speed and flexibility required by the ‘new normal’.

Keith Pearson is the senior director of Financial Services at ServiceNow

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