Simulation of the effect of COVID-19 outbreak on the development of branchless banking in Iran: case study of Resalat Qard–al-Hasan Bank

Authors: Vahid Shahabi, Adel Azar, Farshad Faezy Razi, Mir Feyz Fallah Shams 

Purpose: COVID-19 has become a global challenge with a significant rate of prevalence, and it has exerted devastating consequences in epidemic, economic and social terms. Therefore, a number of studies have already been, or are now being, conducted on the detrimental effects of the virus. In this respect, a question may arise: Is there any possibility to turn the threat of the virus outbreak into an opportunity in some sectors such as the banking industry? In this research, the effects of COVID-19 outbreak as an intervening element on the acceptance of branchless banking were studied.

Design/methodology/approach: In this research, the factors affecting the acceptance and development of branchless banking in Iran at the time of COVID-19 outbreak were identified by systematically studying the theoretical framework, conducting further research and interviewing the experts; then, a causal loop diagram of the problem in the proposed case study and the flow rate model were presented.

Findings: The simulation results showed that banking transactions and a bank’s financial resources would increase by implementing the package policy of reducing the number of branches, promoting incentive policies and increasing the budget rate of the bank in Information Technology (IT). Further, by promoting customers’ acceptance of new technologies, the spread of COVID-19 can be viewed as a positive factor, or even a catalyst, in the acceptance and development of branchless banking in Iran.

Originality/value: Based on the proposed model, the difficulties faced by individuals during the spread of COVID-19 could act as justifiable incentives to boost appropriate organizational preparations for making changes to the classic working processes. Processes such as telecommuting, job rotation and so on are among these changes.

تاریخ انتشار اولیه: ۷ مرداد ۱۳۹۹
تاریخ رصد: ۳۰ مرداد ۱۳۹۹


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