2020 – the year of the digital switch


Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, much has been written about the change in consumer behaviours been seen in digital banking and there is a lot more commentary to come as this situation evolves in the months ahead.

Online interactions have surged ranging from zoom meetings, virtual events and parties, to online shopping coupled with a massive boost in contactless payments. What’s unprecedented is the scope and speed of this change across all demographics and countries and businesses have had to adapt to it more rapidly than anyone can ever have imagined.

Analysts have noted that the pandemic has caused massive disruption in many industries. The ability that businesses have had in reacting to meet customers’ needs is a testament to both their resilience and entrepreneurship – virtual home viewings, home workouts and eating from your favourite restaurant at home,  all point to a new behavioural norm. If the number of vans delivering to houses in my estate are anything to go by, the transition to digital engagement over the past few months has done nothing but accelerate the behaviour change. A recent report by Wolfgang Digital* backs up what we have been seeing, showing a sharp increase in both retail revenues and traffic when compared to the pre Covid-19 period.

But how have financial services adapted? Covid-19 is changing how people bank and is accelerating the adoption of digital products and services. Our unique digital-first model at KBC  means we are ideally positioned to help people on that journey. We recently transitioned to a bank and an insurer in the Irish market and the first product we launched was a digital pension.  This further cements our commitment to bringing customers the products they are looking for and adapting to their needs as they change and evolve. We are giving customers back control with our digital pensions experience. Engagement with pensions has always been regarded as an issue for pensions providers. Not surprisingly as information is frequently outdated, and complex. At KBC we’re making pensions simple.

Thumb powered pensions means a customer can set up their pension in minutes through the KBC mobile banking app as well as set  goals and track them, all done digitally. All policy documents are stored in the app and the power to increase, decrease or pause contributions is in the customers control at all times. Our customers have given us the thumbs up to our new product since launch with an average score of 8 out of 10 for ease of use and understanding and we look forward to bringing customers more digital innovations in pensions in the months ahead.

As we move forward, people will be interacting with their financial services providers in a different way and customers’ needs and behaviours will be more demanding when it comes to both services and delivery. 2020 will perhaps be remembered as the year that prompted this change and the big digital switch. At KBC we are here as a digital first bank and digital insurer and ready to bring customers on this journey as more and more people switch to banking digitally.

*Source: https://www.wolfgangdigital.com/blog/on-the-money-may-18th-the-weekly-online-economy-report/

By John Gethin Branch Manager, KBC Life and Pensions

KBC Insurance NV trading as KBC Life and Pensions is authorised by the National Bank of Belgium in Belgium and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. KBC Bank Ireland Plc are is tied to KBC Insurance NV trading as KBC Life and Pensions for the sale of Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs). KBC Bank Ireland Plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.