How will the financial services sector respond in 2021? (Episode 1)
Following the content of Singapore Fintech Festival, we decided to give our scoop of what experts in the field have to say and relate it back to Instamo as an organisation. This article forms episode 1 of the series.
In Episode 1, the speaker Shayne Elliot, CEO of ANZ covered topics from the pandemic to future outlook and to working conditions.
How should banks use the pandemic as an opportunity to start actioning for 2021?
Firstly, banks would need to allocate capital debt across the economy.
Secondly, banks would need to finance the transition from COVID-19 to the “new normal”, especially for SMEs who would undoubtedly feel the weight of COVID-19 more so than larger firms. For SMEs to survive, banks need to provide 0 interest rate - making time free. This essentially gives customers more time to get back on their feet. Moreover, there needs to be more leeway in terms of money supply through grants and tax breaks. For instance, in Australia, 20% of businesses actually asked for a loan deferral which banks readily gave. Amongst those that asked for a deferral, ⅔ of them actually had more money in their bank account at the end of the deferral than they had at the beginning. This highlights the important role that banks can play heading towards 2021.
Thirdly, sustainable finance is a key opportunity for 2021. With sustainable finance comes risks and it is here where the role of governments would be important. Governments would need to be cautious to ensure that no one is left behind and to be sure to look after those impacted by the pandemic.
Beyond these 3 factors, geopolitically, China is still an important part of the world and it is in 2021 that we should start getting the relationship back on an optimistic footing. Moreover, as Joe Biden officially becomes the next US president, issues in the US that are being surfaced at the moment is sure to run deeper in 2021.
Work from home measures
As what Shayne Elliot has to say about ANZ, across 93 countries, ANZ actually had 95% of people who can work from home working from home. He mentioned that the banks have been opened to work from home situations and are for the increased efficiency that it brings. However, he noted that such situations have opened a can of worms as it has opened up many cultural and leadership issues. With work from home, leading a team is totally different and ANZ needs to ensure that people that are brought to their company still share the cultural values that the company holds. These are not insolvable but they will present some new leadership challenges. In his point of view, what we need ultimately is a blended workforce.
“Buy now, Pay later” culture
Amid Covid-19 uncertainties, platforms such as Afterpay, Zip, Openpay have all hopped on the buy now, pay later bandwagon to allow consumers to spread the cost of their purchases without having to worry about interest.
At Instamo, our fintech partners and international merchants are also part of the "buy now pay later" culture. With this, our partners would be able to ease their worries especially with a tight budget.
Biggest opportunity in 2021:
In 2021, we can see to embrace the new change: working from home, shopping from home and even banks going digital. A new consumer world is hungry to go digital and it is the firms that reach there first that gain the upper hand in this game. For instance, ANZ is the first to launch Apple Pay in Australia and it is this first mover advantage that would allow the firm to grow and serve the needs of consumers.
At Instamo, we hope to be your chosen global payment platform to take on 2021 together.
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