The pandemic has spurred rapid digitization. In the post-pandemic era, some of the new digital habits will change – and others are here to stay.

2020 was a period of rapid change for the financial industry with the focus on solving onboarding processes and optimizing the UX of apps and virtual channels, to deliver the best possible experience at a time of rapid adoption of digital banking.

We witnessed how social distancing increased the use of digital media to make purchases and access financial services.

Likewise, the home office became relevant, pushing many companies worldwide to invest significant amounts of money in security and protection software for their workers, as well as in cloud storage.

The health and education sectors gained strength as they found an answer in technology to the new demands of timeliness, information and consistent access demanded by users.

As part of planning for the post-pandemic era, it is important to analyze which of these trends will change again, and which will be part of the “new normal”.

Among the key characteristics in the use of digital channels following the pandemic, we see a return to cell phone use over computer use, a continued importance of remote work, and an increased demand for digital channels in the health and education sectors.

Here we outline the implications of these trends for your digital strategy.

Mobile Channel: Priority #1

As a result of the pandemic, the use of digital channels rose quickly as users overcame adoption barriers, mainly in e-commerce.

For many activities, computer usage increased with the advent of lockdowns and remote work, in fact, there was a spike in PC sales in the second quarter of 2020.

However, mobile banking remains highly relevant, and will increase in the post-COVID-19 era. One-third of individuals in the J.D. Power Financial Services Covid-19 Pulse Survey indicated that they will use mobile channels to interact with their bank more in the post-pandemic than before.

This is why it is increasingly important to prioritize your company’s presence in mobile channels.

Apps are dynamic tools that are constantly being updated, and meaning developers should consider the experiences they provide at all times: from 100% digital onboarding with minimum friction, to the use of big data to personalize services, to ending a session.

Remote Work: Still in Play for 2021

In March last year, the home office seemed like a temporary move to “flatten the curve”. Today, the expectation is that remote work will be one of the legacy trends of 2020 that we will continue to live with. Some governments in Latin America have even decided to regulate it, as is the case in Mexico and Argentina, as well as Colombia in the near future.

With that in mind, companies should not let their guard down regarding security. Especially financial institutions that experienced a spike in cyber-attack attempts during the pandemic season.

Therefore, investments in security and cloud infrastructure will continue, in addition to an increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), implemented, mainly, to combat fraud and as a tool for data analysis.

Digital Channels for Health and Education

The way people study and consume information over the internet has also changed dramatically. Schools, colleges, and universities – even companies – around the world have embraced e-learning, and it is a trend that is set to continue into 2021.

Expectations in this field include the development of e-learning platforms and increased interest in educational gamification.

At the same time, healthcare is undergoing its own digital transformation. Currently, the use of AI and big data in medicine is making it possible to predict potential problems before they arise. Hand in hand with this is the regular use of monitoring apps such as those found on smartphones or smartwatches, making them increasingly important.

For healthcare providers, the demand for remote consultations increased during the pandemic. It’s a trend that’s here to stay. If you don’t already have a digital – and preferably mobile – communication channel with patients, it’s time to develop one.

Andy Tran