Silicon Valley Insight: Accelerating digital finance amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly represents an unexpected and hard-to-predict event. Some have considered it a “Black Swan” with widespread demand-side and supply-side impacts. In response to liquidity demands from consumers and small businesses, fintech companies have demonstrated the ability to innovate by enabling or executing programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program for small business loans. While longer-term economic impacts remain to be seen, there are a few trends worth highlighting.

Digital payments are here to stay

There’s no slowing down of digital payments and online commerce. Globally, statistics show that in 2017, more than 4.1bn people all around the world were using digital payments. Since then, the figure jumped 25%, reaching 5.2bn this year, and this trend will only accelerate in coming months and years as consumers and merchants demand online and contactless options. The pandemic has accelerated consumer and merchant demand for online and contactless payment options. Half of Americans surveyed suggest they will continue to maintain online shopping levels even when the pandemic subsides, a trend that is mirrored internally.

Digitization will accelerate, and virtual tools will focus on customer journey

Financial institutions of all sizes will experience the benefit of automation and online tools, e.g. chatbots, RPA, cloud, etc. Banks and financial services companies are receiving record call volumes and will increasingly rely on solutions such as Avaamo’s chatbot and Zoom to help facilitate customer journeys. Orange Business Services is helping financial institutions improve their infrastructure, workflows and online experiences.

Mental health will increasingly become a value proposition tied to finance

Research suggests that mental health and financial health are inextricably tied. More than one in three Americans said they are worried about their mental health due to the COVID-19 situation. While almost half – 45 percent – say that the coronavirus has negatively affected their mental health. Companies such as Even are bringing new innovations in this space: Even is enabling employers to offer access to financial services for employees.

If you enjoyed these insights from our Orange Silicon Valley experts, we would like to invite you to attend our upcoming live webinar on Wednesday, 7 October at 4:00 pm GST.

Moses Choi
Moses Choi

Moses Choi is a seasoned investor and financial services professional. He leads strategy, product innovation, and deal sourcing at Orange Silicon Valley, in support of the Orange financial services and mobile money business units.