Every bank and credit union must embrace the trends in digital banking transformation that will take place in 2021.

Fremont, CA: Looking back on 2020, financial institutions should be proud of how the industry responded to a crisis that was not on the radar of any organisation.Faced with immediate branch closures and the need to build digital capabilities ranging from end-to-end digital account opening and lending capabilities to PPP small business lending, many firms have done things that once seemed impossible – sometimes in a matter of days.

The ability to conduct business depended on how quickly banks and credit unions could respond to consumer needs, using technology to enable legacy systems and employees to adapt to a new normal. Acceleration of digital transformation has taken place across the banking ecosystem.

Every bank and credit union must embrace the trends in digital banking transformation that will take place in 2021, doubling its commitment to improving digital customer experience, as well as the internal processes, infrastructure, products and personnel that will provide the basis for future competitiveness.

Financial institutions will be under greater pressure to deliver digital functionality that is both simple and fast.In contrast to new account opening or loan application processes that can be completed within 5-10 minutes (or longer), organisations will focus on internal processes, procedures and data flow to allow completion in less than a minute to meet the increasing customer demands of large tech organisations.

In some cases, financial institutions may separate their external layer of presentation from their back-office data layer in order to create enhanced digital consumer experience. The Google Plex partnership with a number of financial institutions is an example of this shift.Beyond enhanced account opening and a combination of checks and savings, the new service provides simple, seamless and personalised digital engagement.

The risk of not providing this level of customer experience will be the potential shift from new and existing businesses to organisations that have succeeded in rethinking legacy processes for a new digital reality. It's more than a simplified opening of the account – it's an enhanced user experience (UX) across the entire customer journey.