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During the lockdown, people had no chance but to switch to non-branch channels to pay their bills. Is this change permanent?
Strict lockdown conditions limited access to branch banking and have created big changes in the Kosovo banking market during the pandemic. There has been a significant switch to non-branch channels for activities such as utility bill payments and less use of cash for day-to-day purchases. For example, from Q3 2019 to Q2 2020 there was a 29% increase in the number of POS transactions and a 26% increase in the ownership of contactless debit and credit cards.
They can continue to capitalise on the positive mind set and appetite for change amongst the public and not revert back to old banking habits and behaviours.
The use of non-branch channels for retail banking will accelerate in the post-pandemic environment and the creation of a truly end-to-end digital proposition will be the priority. For significant, sustainable change to happen it is not just the banking sector that needs to change but also customer behaviour, government regulation and commercial business practices so that the whole of society becomes digital, not just the banking sector.
ROBERT WRIGHT, Chief Executive Officer at Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo has over 35 years retail banking experience of which 20 years have been in international banking in Kosovo, Albania and Saudi Arabia. For the last 12 years he has been Chief Executive Officer in Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo and prior to that he was the Board Member for Retail Banking in Raiffeisen Bank Albania. His expertise and experience is in areas such as change management, employee engagement and creating customer focused cultures and the post COVID-19 banking environment will make this increasingly more relevant and an even higher priority.