The financial services industry faced the complex scenario of supporting affected organizations, clients, and collaborators through months of uncertainty and market decline. To keep pace, many embraced digital experiences, allowing for better collaboration and a faster response to changing industry conditions.
Now, the positive impact of these solutions is making them a new normal for financial institutions.
For decision-makers in financial services, COVID-19 accelerated strategic transformation and called attention to tough, long-avoided questions: Where does our compass point? What informs our decisions other than economic projections? How can we encourage our employees and clients towards advancement?
A key concept during this complex time was resilience. Resilience is more than enduring hardship; it’s about bouncing back. In the case of institutions focused on economic prosperity, it means that recovery is not the ultimate goal: evolution is.
Historically, financial services relied heavily on paper and in-person interactions, which led to the loss of relevance even before 2020. But digitizing document processes brings many perks, including lower printing and storage costs.
But the benefit of going digital stretches far beyond budgeting. Real-time collaboration through cloud services reduces friction in transactions. Faster collaboration on documents, forms, contracts and signature processes can impact negotiations and essential decision-making. A Forrester study from August 2020 saw 56% of respondents say accelerating document processes is one of the biggest challenges for business continuity; 60% suggested document signing and approvals are the most important digital components of these workflows.
For Adobe, these findings reflect the evolution of digital document software: intuitive tools that integrate with existing business systems, cloud services, and collaborative workflows, and enable legally binding e-signatures from any device. Through the automation of bills, loan applications and invoices, approvals can move faster, meeting compliance requirements and data protection. Adobe Acrobat DC offers a complete solution for financial organizations to move towards digital maturity.
CX and EX lessons from finance innovators
As fintech services rise in popularity, digital processes are needed to meet demands for better customer experience (CX). Fintech services were born digitally, including paperless processes, virtual tools, remote work and mobile integration. From an employee experience (EX) perspective, these businesses were better equipped to transition to work from home and retain top talent because flexible schedules, hybrid models and remote workforces were already fundamental HR practices.
Traditional financial services also need to consider these options as part of the new normal. 40% of decision-makers in the financial sector anticipate that their teams will continue to work remotely on a regular basis post-pandemic, according to the Forrester study mentioned above. As a result, the sector will need to increase investments in tools that enable efficient collaboration from anywhere while meeting the highest standards for security and compliance.
The fintech EX reflects the lifestyle and digital-first demands of millennial and Generation Z workers, not only as professionals but also as consumers. In terms of CX, the fintech market also prioritized optimizing their mobile and desktop interfaces over face-to-face services, a strategy that paid off when lockdowns began.
For Q1 and Q2 in 2020, customer retention for fintech startups grew 29% compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Global COVID-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment Study by CCAF, World Bank and World Economic Forum (2020). The growth of these new business models can pushe regulation and policy on a larger scale. The same study mentions that 17% of firms took advantage of regulatory support for e-Know Your Customer and 12% for remote onboarding. These initiatives signal evolution and the possibility of digital document processes to become standard practice.
Learning from industry innovators is essential for evolution. Business models may differ but CX is always at the heart of financial services. “Banks sometimes assume customers want bells and whistles, but they don’t. When it comes to their financial health, customers want journeys that are simple and flawless” says Mike Gamble, director of analysis and design at London-based TSB Bank, in conversation about their digital-first strategy with Adobe. This is an institution that has invested millions in better CX through digital and self-serve experiences. By working with Adobe Sign and Adobe Document Cloud, they streamlined everyday interactions with customers and processed 140,000 forms in 3 months, replacing 15,000 branch visits.
For traditional banks and financial services, in-person interaction with customers has been vital for over a century. Solutions like video banking can be a virtual evolution for human connection between clients and employees, bringing value to processes such as onboarding, loans and mortgages in which seeing a friendly face can ease transactions. Banks like TSB are also equipping on-site employees with tablets to help customers who visit physical branches fill out forms and e-sign, an approach that will foster larger adoption by familiarizing clients with digital document processes so they too can adapt to the new normal.
Insight and Adobe help businesses across all industries change the world through digital experiences. For the financial industry, solutions like Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Sign promote efficiency and enhance customer experiences by making transactions easier through 100% digital workflows. Combined with Adobe Document Cloud, financial organizations can empower their remote workforce.