Page 20 - BusinessWest July 6, 2020
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 breaking old habits, Scully said — “and old hab- its are comfortable habits. But I think people are becoming better acclimated to technology and getting over their fears. There are still people who think, ‘I have to go into the bank to make that transaction because what if the money doesn’t get there?’ But as an industry and as a bank, we’ve been able to alleviate the concerns some people have.”
Florence Bank President Kevin Day agreed.
“Banking in general is going to change. The stuff you need to do is the same, but how you’re
“Financial wellness isn’t just for people with means; it’s everybody, from somebody with an entry- level job to someone doing college planning or estate planning.”
going to do it will change,” he said, noting that lobby traffic has been declining for years, and what was already a high adoption rate of mobile tools only accelerated over the past three months as banks closed lobbies to most routine business. “People are starting to realize it’s probably more secure, so they’re getting more comfortable. It’s also way more convenient.”
And gaining momentum in these shuttered times.
“Customers realized they really can do all their banking online,” Scully said. “We’re no different than Macy’s or Amazon. You realize you can sit
down with your laptop or phone and purchase something from a retail outlet, and you can also do your banking that way. People are becoming more com- fortable with it — so we need to keep upgrading and enhancing it.”
That’s not all they’re doing. Banks and credit unions, despite a much higher reliance on drive-up lanes and mobile platforms lately, never really closed during the pandemic, and while they continued to serve customers — in some cases, helping them navigate sud- den financial hardships — they were also learning lessons and conducting internal conversations about where the industry is heading and what the bank of the future should look like.
Some were discussions that had begun years ago but, again, were sud- denly cast in sharp relief as the wave known as COVID-19 came crashing down.
Staying Connected
People have been starved for human contact, Kump said. He knows that from UMassFive’s call center, as calls over the past three months are 25% longer, on average, than last year.
“A lot of it is, people just want to talk,” he noted. “Yes, they call for a rea- son, but then they want to talk. It’s a bit of a community.”
Bolstering the call center was one of the suc- cess stories of late March, which he recalls as a tough time.
Kevin Day says shifting most employees to remote work was one of the smoother transitions necessitated by COVID-19.
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