What does H1N1 have to do with opening accounts online?

If Swine Flu hits hard, you need to find a way to do business that doesn’t require customers to visit the bank.

For those of you who are golfers, can you remember the last time you were way out on the back nine, when the wind kicked up and lightning began to sparkle between you and the locker room? You’re torn, right? You’d like to finish the round, but, upon reflection, you’d also like to avoid direct experience with lightning strike.

Tell you what, if you’re smart, when the skies get dark, the wind picks up and the thunder rumbles, you start looking around for cover. Maybe you won’t quit the round at the first rumble, but you will start thinking about your “plan B”.

So, if you’re running a bank, consider this:

The H1N1 virus is darkening your skies and it could be a major-big deal.  After all, think about it: schools close, day care closes and, on top of all that, a fourth of your staff is sick — and it all drags on for weeks?  It’s enough to keep you up at night.

Take another look at opening accounts online.

Anything you can do to keep customers happy, but out of the bank, will be a plus.  Your internet bill pay is a good thing.  So is Cash Management and Remote Deposit Capture.  And, if you have been delaying offering internet account opening programs, now is the time take another look.  It’s not hard to do.  The compliance problems are solved, and the costs are affordable: you can be up and running with Online Account Opening for less than $13,000.

What should you do about the H1N1 threat?

Start planning NOW. Plan on increased ATM use. Start talking to your employees about your “if-sick-don’t-come” policy and think about how you’re going to handle employee issues that arise when schools are closed for a month or more. You’ll need to have a plan you can roll out quickly, one you have rehearsed and know works.

To get a look at the dimensions of the problem, you can read the article that first appeared in the August 3, 2009 Issue of Bank Information Security com.