Banks have been offering digital services for some time, but social distancing guidelines have accelerated behavior changes even further. At U.S. Bank, digital now accounts for more than three-quarters of all service transactions – up from 65 percent two years ago.
While a routine transaction like depositing a check through a mobile app might be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of digital banking, there’s a much broader range and depth than that. At U.S. Bank, many digital transactions are increasingly “do it together” activities with bankers facilitated by co-browsing. Co-browsing is a way to share the customer’s computer or mobile device screen with the banker so they’re looking at the same information.
“Co-browsing has helped to create a ‘business as usual’ feel through a digital channel,” said Elizabeth Kagele, U.S. Bank digital lead for the Las Vegas market. “For many people, it’s just not possible right now to meet face to face. But combining co-browse with a virtual appointment, like a phone call or teleconference, makes it feel like the banker is right there with them.”
Co-browsing sessions are particularly helpful when helping customers set up new accounts; the capability allows a banker to walk them through features accessible through the U.S. Bank mobile app and online channels. There are many added features for U.S. Bank business banking customers in particular, including the ability to manage credit cards for employees and provide various levels of shared access to the business’ bank account to someone else, like a CPA or assistant. Co-browse has also been key to helping customers and non-customers alike navigate the application process for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program that offers loans to small firms impacted by COVID-19.
A small business owner recently reached out to one of our Las Vegas bankers because his revenue was significantly impacted by COVID-19 and he didn’t want to have to lay off any of his employees, even though he was behind on rent and his landlord was getting impatient. The banker informed him that the PPP had been extended , and it was tailored for small businesses in need like his. The customer didn’t feel he was computer-savvy or proficient in English, so the U.S. Bank banker used co-browse to walk him through the application process step-by-step.
The ability to provide that kind of customized service is part of the reason U.S. Bank has facilitated more than 3,650 PPP loans worth some $211.7 million in Nevada, helping nearly 28,200 employees. U.S. Bank’s average loan size across the state is about $58,000, and more than 93 percent of the bank’s PPP loans went to companies with 20 or fewer employees.
Many of our bankers’ conversations with small business owners move beyond PPP and mobile banking fundamentals to include a strategic discussion on ways to adjust to their business model to the pandemic.
“Our business banking team is really focused on taking a consultative approach on what their customers goals are – whether short, medium or long term – and how they’re going to weather the current storm and adapt,” said Hassan Sheikh, small business banking leader for U.S. Bank in Las Vegas.
U.S. Bank’s Las Vegas team has also expanded virtual outreach to include online financial education. The bank’s Financial Wellness Webinars, which are free and open to the public, are designed to boost consumers’ financial wellness by providing actionable steps to pursue their goals. For business owners, topics range from helping business owners protect their companies from fraud to the fundamentals of managing cash flow. The August schedule includes:
Road to Financial Wellness – Tuesday, Aug. 4 – 11:30 a.m.
Do the Right Thing – Business – Thursday, Aug. 6 – 2 p.m.
Managing Business Cash Flow – Thursday, Aug. 13 – 11:30 a.m.
Conquering Credit – Tuesday, Aug. 18 – 11:30 a.m.
Protecting Your Business from Fraud – Thursday, Aug. 20 – 2 p.m.
To sign up for these online seminars, please click here.