Financial services lag

The COVID-19 Digital Engagement Report, a global survey conducted by Lawless Research on behalf of remote communication group Twilio, surveyed more than 2,500 executives across eight key developed markets including Australia, and in industries including financial services, technology, healthcare, retail and manufacturing.

The report found just 60 per cent of financial services companies said digital transformation had happened faster in their organisation as a result of the crisis, compared to 78 per cent of technology companies and 77 per cent of energy companies.

Financial services companies also said COVID-19 had accelerated the progress of digital communication within their organisation by around five years, compared to eight years in construction and seven years in energy.

But while financial services may have lagged other industries in terms of digital transformation, many companies did dip a toe in digital communication for the first time as a result of the pandemic, with 42 per cent of finance companies saying their company tried digital chat for the first time, while 35 per cent of financial services businesses tried video.

A further 34 per cent of finance firms said they had tried digital audio communication for the first time, while 36 per cent said they had tried in-app chat. Financial services firms altogether said they had tried 10 different digital communications mediums for the first time during the crisis, more than any other industry surveyed.

Financial services companies also seemed to be more willing to invest in digital projects as a result of the pandemic, with 42 per cent saying lack of engineering support for technology projects had previously been a problem, but wasn’t any longer.