New ABA, Accenture Report Examines State of Digital Lending

With the COVID-19 pandemic driving more consumers to online and mobile banking, banks have to meet rising customer expectations and bridge online and in-person options, the American Bankers Association and Accenture said today in a new report on the state of digital lending. The report—the first in a series from ABA’s Office of Innovation—found that baby boomers have increased online usage, with 68% skipping human interaction to make a decision about banking products, compared to 55% before the pandemic.

The changes in digital habits are expected to be permanent, according to the report, with 85% of respondents of a KeyBank 2020 Financial Resilience Survey saying they were likely to continue conducting some or all of their financial transactions digitally. “The rapid convergence of banking and technology was already well upon us pre-COVID, but the pandemic has really accelerated the digitization of banking,” said ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols. “Through this report and other initiatives from ABA’s innovation team, we remain committed to helping banks navigate their technology challenges and providing them with the tools they need to continue enhancing the customer experience.”

The report provides information for bankers looking to accelerate their digital transformation, including considerations for selecting third-party technology vendors. It also explains some regulatory concerns around digital lending like imprecise electronic signature rules and the risks of artificial intelligence.