Banks amp up digital strategies during COVID-19

The lockdown has had the banks reaching out to the consumers through social media, joining them in the conversations around the current situation and promoting safe transaction techniques

e4m by Sanstuti Nath
Updated: Apr 16, 2020 1:58 PM

At a time when the market is experiencing a dry spell due to the lockdown, banks have been upping their digital marketing game to become part of online conversations around the situation. Creatives and hashtags around COVID-19 awareness are being used to promote cashless transaction and net banking.

SBI has been asking people to donate In 'PM CARES’ funds and educating the consumers how to avoid bank frauds, while HDFC, Indusland, ICICI, DBS Bank, etc. are urging users to go cashless and using net banking tool to practise social distancing and safe transactions.

Bank of Baroda (BOB) has also crafted multiple posts on all its five social media channels and website with the theme #StaySafeBankSafe. The BOB official told e4m, “Social media and digital marketing has always been one of the strong communication channels for the bank and in the current COVID situation, both social media and digital marketing have provided the much needed platform for the bank and its customers to communicate with each other.”

BOB has shared over 20 posts where the bank has covered topics like do’s and don’ts to stay safe from COVID-19, sharing pictures of the bank branches practising social distancing and other precautionary measures. These campaigns had also urged citizens to participate in nationwide Janata Curfew on March 22, Sunday.

BOB also harnessed social media to share critical information received from Indian Banks’ Association and Department of Financial Services.

The bank’s campaigns included announcement of zero charges for all digital transactions for retail customers for a period of three month; announcement of Baroda COVID Emergency Credit Line for MSME and Corporate borrowers; videos highlighting ‘Stay Safe, Bank Safe’ urging the usage of digital banking and avoid visiting branches unless it is unavoidable; financial aid of Rs 2000 to business correspondents for safety measures; announcement on 75 bps reduction in Baroda Repo Linked Lending Rate (BRLLR); and a COVID 19 Regulatory Package for customers on the lines that was announced by the Reserve Bank of India for moratorium relief for three months from March 1 to May 31.

The official also added that a separate section on website has been created to host COVID 19 related Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to different businesses. “Over 2500 conversation have taken place in the last fortnight with customers on social media pages of the Bank. Banners and roadblocks have been placed on the website for easy access to the information required. In the last fortnight, the website witnessed 35% increase in user traffic with 1.69 crore users and number of sessions increased by 27% to 2.86 crore,” they said.

“The role of social media and digital marketing in these times cannot be overstated,” said Mihir Karkare, Executive Vice President of Mirum India.

He added: “Some of the moves announced by the Finance Ministry and RBI related to banks have a direct impact on consumers at large. With branches and telephone contact centres operating at well below capacity (if at all) due to the lockdown, social and digital communication is turning out to be the way by which consumers can be reached.”

Seconding Karkare, Gautam Madhavan, Founder & CEO, MAD Influence, explained: “This circumstance has only made net banking more trustable as right now that is the only way out to make any transaction for organizations. This mode is much safer and convenient when it comes to financial transactions.”

Banks are not only urging customers to practise social distancing by using the net banking tool, they are also asking to help the ones in need. Axis bank's campaign #FirstTransfer urges people to ask their house help for their bank details and make their first transaction to help the hardest hit community by lockdown.

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