Bank branches unnecessary: Bank branch traffic saw a decline of 30 percent in April and May as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. With fewer people visiting banks, there has been a dramatic shift towards mobile banking which has led banks to wonder if many of their branch locations are even needed.
“The way customers are interacting with banks is changing, and I think this pandemic has accelerated that behavioral change in a fairly substantial way,” U.S. Bancorp CEO Andy Cecere said. He further added that the bank’s physical being will be less important in the future, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The battle of the currencies: The Chinese government has begun a pilot study for an official digital version of its currency, the bigger picture expected to be tested at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, reports Bloomberg.
A number of observers are of the view that this shift to digital will bolster the government’s power over the country’s financial system and may even shift the balance of economics.
What’s mine is yours: Peer-to-peer services which initially flourished after the Great Recession started to witness dramatic declines in their recent profits even prior to the COVID19 pandemic. Companies like Uber, AirBnB and Bird, referred to as the poster children of the sharing economy by The Economist, have since had to evaluate and shift their offerings to maintain relevance in a post pandemic world where many customers prioritize sanitation and safety over convenience or price.
An illusionary market: While the S&P 500 increased by almost 40 percent, millions of Americans died due to the pandemic with many more losing their jobs, putting the country in a state of uncertainty and unrest.
However, as per The Wall Street Journal, the disconnect isn’t as extreme as it seems since the stock market is also suffering with most stocks performing poorly this year with a handful of winners creating an illusionary effect in the market. The result is a market which is not as bullish as it appears to be at first glance.