5 pandemic-induced problems each Operations Manager of a Rural bank must know (and must solve immediately)

Every Rural Bank Head or Manager that oversees the Bank Operations, knows that the fact that clients struggle in visiting their Bank branches, has caused most of the cash-flow problems for the bank, there is no great revelation in that fact.

  • The lock-downs are very strict in some municipalities preventing both clients and staff to travel to the branch.
  • In banks that have had field staff assigned even before the Pandemic, part of the field employees does not visit their clients simply out of fear of COVID-19. In some other municipalities the movement of field staff might be fully restricted at times, causing the same effect – no customer visits.
  • Branch staff can always resort to calling clients individually, certainly – but that task is very time and resource consuming, while the branch staff might not be specifically trained on the task. This approach does not really scale, has delays and lacks efficiency.
  • A need to keep communicating with your client base – even during the Pandemic, even more so during the lock-downs, there is a necessity to keep communicating with your client base. Not “send-to-all” blasts, but targeted personalized communication, based on the context of that individual customer. As an example, a Bank might announce modified branch working hours on its social channels. But in reality, each municipality might have different rules for banks resulting in different branches having other working hours (some might be completely closed as well). Your client base might be very far from using the social networks to get informed, too. There will also be a lot of customers with late payments of their loans, some customers might receive remittance so that their balance allows re-payment, but they must be notified of this movement. On top of that, it is prudent to notify each customer of upcoming payments in the coming week, so that you instil importance and their funds are reserved (psychologically) for your bank, not some other expense.
  • Staff availability and efficiency – this might be one of the tougher daily challenges for any Head of Operations. You have a lot of branch people on payroll, most of them not being able to come to their workplace, at least full-time. People on payroll which are not efficient or used at best of their capacity – are a serious cost. So the responsibilities of any Operation manager is to create work and some new responsibilities for those employees that are not able to perform their usual duties at the Bank branch, usually tied to work-from-home. Overseeing this work and results becomes a new operational task with high importance.

All of the above can be certainly, tackled and solved, one challenge at a time. If a Rural Bank choses the right long-term partner that has the experience and the technology to address those issues, a partner like Oradian – you can go from a Problem towards an Advantage.

How do some of the possible Solutions look like?

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