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The Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis on Local Banking

Over the past few years, the increasing popularity of online banking has already resulted in a reduction in branch banking, prompting financial institutions to begin making changes to their distribution networks and implementing Oracle Flexcube. A causal relationship between the COVID-19 issue and this tendency could not be established. However, it has considerably aggravated it.

They were not forced to close during the height of the epidemic because they were deemed "essential services" led to a reduction in hours, the temporary closure of some branches, and the restriction of walking in customers for many banks, building societies, and credit unions.

It also sped the transition to digital, with some segments of the public adopting digital technologies, like the Oracle Flexcube universal banking and contactless payments much more quickly than experts had predicted.

In the wake of the epidemic, we identified six behavioral modifications that we believe will impact branch utilization when the crisis is past. These are as follows:

• Cash decline: There was a 60 percent decline in cash machine withdrawals during the closing period. Seventy-six percent of those who responded to a YouGov survey in the United Kingdom said they planned to spend less money after COVID-19.

• eCommerce adoption: We found out that 25 percent of its clients made their first online food purchase during the financial crisis. Forty percent of those who shopped online were over the age of 55, and 37 percent said they intended to continue doing so even when the situation was over.

• Online banking usage:73 percent of consumers in the United States habitually conduct business online, according to a Mastercard poll conducted in the country. The vast majority (21 percent) have never used online banking before.

• Contactless usage: In the United Kingdom, contactless transactions account for 66 percent of all Mastercard transactions at the moment. In addition, Mastercard discovered that 76 percent of its customers want to continue using contactless payments in the future.

• Technology adoption: In recent decades, technology such as Skype and other web-based services have grown in popularity due to its accessibility. According to the company, Microsoft Teams, a group communication platform, saw a spike in usage of 12 million users in March. According to the company’s estimates, approximately 300 million individuals will use Zoom's services daily in April 2020.

Many processes still rely on branch offices, which means they will continue to play a vital role for financial institutions using Oracle Flexcube 14.x even if the number of branches drops.

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