How TSB Bank Accelerated Its Digital-First Strategy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Focused young couple calculating bills, discussing planning budget together, serious wife and husband looking at laptop screen, using online banking services and calculator, checking finances

During a time when people of all backgrounds across the world are experiencing personal challenges and financial strain because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that banks are there for customers, wherever and whenever they’re needed.

What’s more, because so many people rely on physical visits to their local branches for financial advice and support, banks have to adopt an added duty of care to keep people safe at home by limiting the need for face-to-face, in-branch interactions.

It’s why I’ve been so impressed by the steps TSB Bank has taken to transform a significant amount of its offline forms into digital-only interactions, creating an end-to-end journey for its personal and business banking customers that takes place exclusively online.

TSB reacted almost instantly to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, using Adobe Sign and Adobe XD to launch a number of vital forms online in under a week, and removing the need for most of its customers to risk leaving their homes and visit their local branch.

Further down the line, in just eight weeks the bank has successfully released 18 forms digitally and processed over 80,000 interactions online. The speed at which the bank has accelerated this crucial part of its digital-first strategy means 15,000 potential in-branch visits have been transformed into digital-only interactions. That’s around 15,000 less people being forced to risk leaving their homes.

Keeping customers safe, at home, during COVID-19

In the short-term, making so many of its online forms available online in such an impressively-short timeframe has reduced significant pressure on the bank’s contact centres – which have, as you’d imagine, experienced a considerable surge in customer calls. This has freed up employee time to focus on helping people with more complex concerns and interactions.

What’s more, with so many branches closed for public safety, there’s been a sharp increase in customers using online banking for the first time. TSB used Adobe XD to completely re-design the application process for Business Banking customers so they’re tailor-made for digital, meaning customers who are new to internet banking can get online and manage their finances with minimal stress.

In the long-term, TSB has rapidly accelerated its already-impressive strategic vision of supporting its personal and banking customers through more digital means. TSB Bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Suresh Viswanathan, explained recently to me, “we aim to deliver a great digital experience for our customers. Working with Adobe has enabled our customers to access the services, support and finances they need, quickly and securely.”

For TSB and Suresh, COVID-19 hasn’t altered this ambition – if anything, it has underlined its importance even more keenly, and TSB has reacted and adapted at speed.

Helping businesses to bounce back

Another of TSB’s goals is to proactively support local businesses and communities, and now is no different. With the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme providing SMEs with vital funding to stay afloat during these uncertain times, TSB has negated the need for its business customers to risk visiting their local branch, by making the entire process available online.

Historically, TSB’s business customers would need to prove identification in-branch, but by using Adobe Sign to digitalise the forms, the application can be completed from start to finish at home.

These applications – along with the rest of TSB’s online forms – are being proactively shared with customers through the bank’s new TSB Smart Agent webchat function and via its employees, to ensure as many people as possible are benefitting from the bank’s services.

As more people look to digital channels and services for support during these unprecedented times, it’s likely the pandemic will result in a permanent step change in how people perceive and consume digital services. It means it’s more important than ever for brands to give customers what they need, and TSB is an example of an organisation that’s adapted quickly to achieve just that.

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting how people manage their money, TSB is a great example of an organisation that’s adapted quickly and efficiently, so it can continue giving its customers exactly what they need, when they need it most.