Seven months after the coronavirus pandemic first hit the U.S., even self-proclaimed Luddites have migrated much of their day-to-day life online.
Managers who never planned to run meetings remotely have mastered the art of looking professional from the waist up on Zoom. Tenured college professors have learned how to conduct classes virtually. Busy parents have traded strolling the grocery aisles for scrolling through Amazon Fresh.
This rapid transition to “all online all the time” has had a ripple effect throughout the finance industry. As bank customers seek online interactions that replicate in-branch experiences, institutions are innovating to provide seamless digital services. Contactless payments are seeing all-time high levels of adoption. And even previously tech-shy segments of the population are turning to apps to manage money matters.
Even after life returns to “normal,” it’s likely that some of the behaviors kick-started by the pandemic will persist—including the ways that customers bank, pay bills and conduct transactions. Fintech also provides a variety of tools for addressing broader personal finance issues like paying down debt, saving and budgeting.
Here are five pandemic-sparked fintech trends worth keeping an eye on.
1. Adoption of Fintech Among Older Populations Is Up
Temporary closures or reduced hours of brick-and-mortar bank branches forced some customers to finally download their financial institution’s app. In April, Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) saw a 200% increase in new mobile banking registrations, and mobile banking traffic ballooned 85%.
Among some specific user demographics, adoption of fintech and other digital services has soared. Many older Americans, for example, have reportedly become more comfortable with behaviors like paying bills online over the past six months.
One 2019 study of fintech adoption among low- to moderate-income older adults in the U.S. found that in pre-pandemic times, two thirds of smartphone users over the age of 50 were reluctant to use their devices for financial tasks. Though an official verdict on how these numbers have changed in 2020 is still emerging, anecdotal evidence and a smattering of early studies suggest that Baby Boomers’ mindsets are shifting.
An April 2020 survey by product review site The Senior List found that people over age 60 are using technology more frequently to pay bills online these days—a full 77% of respondents said they’d recently conducted a financial transaction online. Another study by the National Retail Federation reported that nearly half (45%) of Baby Boomers are shopping online more as a result of the pandemic.
2. Consumer Perceptions of Online Banking Are Shifting
It’s not just Boomers who are swiping right on online banking. According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey…