Banking Trends to Look For in 2021
Like many industries, banks had to quickly pivot in 2020 due to the pandemic. From implementing new technologies at a rapid pace to shifting business models in a matter of months, banks have had to be flexible and quickly adapt to the “new normal” way of life in order to continue serving clients. And while some of the changes from the last year may seem daunting, the convenience of these new platforms and services has exploded and is reshaping how banks go about business. For many, it has also reshaped how banking for business is done as well, making life a little easier for clients.
As 2021 continues to evolve and progress, here are some banking trends to look out for:
Increased online banking and digital experience: The banking industry saw a big spike in remote deposits, ACH, and virtual banking in 2020. Online platforms are convenient for clients who prefer to conduct their banking in a virtual space rather than going into a bank branch. By continuing to provide more self-service options and giving clients a chance to get acclimated to using these platforms, banking will become even easier for you through the touch of a button or the scan of a check.
Staying in touch: Communication is key to building and maintaining a solid banking relationship. Online banking is great; however, it does not replace direct interaction with a banker when you need it. In the COVID world, your bank may send out mailers, emails and updates to help maintain solid relationships and to provide you with updates and important information to conduct your business virtually. Clients can’t resolve all of their concerns online, and sometimes they need to have a person at the other end of the phone who can help them with their banking questions. That is why it’s critical for clients to establish a strong relationship with a banker, long before problems arise. Having an experienced relationship manager or a team of bankers in your corner can help you navigate complicated financial waters. Think of a bank’s relationship manager as your trusted advisor, helping you stay ahead of financial issues, uncover new revenue opportunities, streamline your finances, and gain better financial insight long-term. Client relationships are more important than ever in 2021, and at Sandy Spring Bank, our bankers pride themselves on being highly accessible to clients via phone and email, especially in today’s challenging times.
In-person safety and wellness: As establishments continue to open to limited capacities, they will need to follow local, state, and federal COVID guidelines to ensure that safety measures are in place. These precautions—masks, plexiglass, gloves, directional arrows, and hand sanitizer stations—are part of the norm now. In accordance with these guidelines, banks are continuing to offer scheduled appointments and take other precautions to ensure the comfort levels of their clients are met. Make sure these precautions are in place when sending team members directly from your business to the bank or another business.
New services and technologies will increase and changes in regulations will continue to occur in 2021. Clients and financial institutions will grow together with innovative solutions to accommodate banking needs for the future. Here are some resources by state to help Sandy Spring Bank clients stay on top of the ever-changing COVID landscape:
- District of Columbia:
Cybersecurity and fraud protection: With online banking rising at an unprecedented rate, so is the risk of a cyberattack. Hackers thrive on opportunity and given the current global crisis, they’re out in full force looking to commit even more fraudulent activity. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans have lost $145 million to fraud related to COVID-19. Now is the time for clients to be extra diligent and implement the right safeguards to protect their money and personal information.
One of the easiest ways a client can protect themselves is by using sophisticated passwords. Many people continue to use weak, easy-to-guess passwords, often reusing them repeatedly across different accounts. Passwords should be unique and should exclude your name, surname, birthday, address or phone number. Also, make sure your online banking platform is set up with either two-factor or multifactor authentication to access your account. This way, you’ll have to answer a security question or enter a code sent via text to your phone in order to log in.
Here are some resources from Sandy Spring Bank to help keep you safe:
- Tips to Ensure the Security of your Account Information Online
- Security & Protection
- Coronavirus Scam Alert
- 10 Ways to Protect Your Business from a Cyber Attack
Lastly, it’s important to remember that even with all the right security measures in place, nothing can replace client diligence.
To learn more about the latest banking product and services, please contact one of Sandy Spring Bank’s branches. Please visit www.sandyspringbank.com/locations to find the branch closest to you.
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