How have different regions been impacted by COVID-19?
While banks have made significant progress during the pandemic due to the need to provide digital, remote access to customers, the main barrier to digital transformation worldwide has been the disruption to the workforce caused by COVID-19. Over a third of banks in APAC, EMEA, and North America (NA) ranked this challenge among the top three of the barriers they have faced over the past 12 months.
However, different regions also have additional obstacles to overcome. For example, APAC sees regulatory challenges an equal barrier to COVID-19 (36%), whereas NA and EMEA both rank the lack of operational agility as their second most pressing challenge (30% and 31%, respectively).
Some barriers may be more notably felt in certain regions because their priorities for digital transformation and their drivers for this shift are also different.
For example, 68% of banks in APAC believe customer experience is a key metric at the highest level of their organization. And APAC banks — more than any other region — also believe their organizations have a culture that promotes customer-led innovation for new products and services.
However, APAC’s rapid digitization has made it a target for fraudsters. For example, over 400 OCBC customers in Singapore lost at least $8.5 million in 2021 to a phishing scam. These attacks are impacting banking regulation within the region which could be why regulation is more of a barrier in APAC than other regions.