Covid-19: the catalyst for digital transformation

Currently, with the health crisis that has unleashed the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, we have all been affected in some way. The message is clear, people need digital tools that adapt to our new needs and contribute to facilitating the social distancing that is now essential. Thus, companies must rethink their business strategy and migrate to a more digital environment so that we can access products and services safely, quickly and without contact.

In the course of this quarantine, we can conclude that we were not prepared to face a situation that made us leave our comfort zone or broke with the status quo. We lived in a world in which we were used to carrying out activities in person and where only some sectors such as E-commerce or digital financial services were beginning to revolutionize industries.

Now, this situation has created a challenge that involves staying at home in order to avoid spreading the virus, #stayhomestaysafe. In this way, we have changed our habits, going out only to carry out those activities that are really necessary or essential. Furthermore, given that it is essential to maintain preventive measures in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak in the world (quarantine, social distancing, use of masks, among others), we now see the home office, delivery and video calls as our greatest allies.

Although we have some tools to cope with this new lifestyle that we have had to live, it is also true that there are several industries that need to transform and adapt to what is our new reality. This is how, the gastronomic sector, retail, financial, health and others must rethink how to face the new needs of consumers.

On the one hand, we see the takeoff of the E-commerce, allowing us to make purchases from our homes with the option of home delivery and relying on financial tools such as digital payments to successfully make the purchase. On the other hand, there are the restaurants who are rethinking their business strategy and migrating to models with home delivery or pick-up formats, sharing the content of the letters from their social networks or web pages, and in some cases even allowing make payments through different digital platforms.

On the other hand, the health sector must migrate to the era of digital transformation, since it has shown, particularly in Peru, to be very backward. In the case of health, a concept that is starting to sound is HealthTech[1], digital medicine shows relevance as a result of Covid-19, where various companies dedicated to the field of health, are using teleconsultation[2] in order to preliminarily attend to people who may present a discomfort, and thus avoid the general displacement of people to medical centers when this is not warranted.

In this context of the health crisis, really innovative ideas begin to emerge, as is the case of Rappi[3] which has developed a pilot program in Medellín hand in hand with the KiwiBot company to carry out delivery of restaurant orders to customers through robots, thus avoiding person-to-person contact. Payment for these orders must be exclusively by digital means from the Rappi platform, in addition, for security measures, the robots are disinfected after each delivery.

Along these same lines, digital banks and FinTechs in general gain relevance to offer 100% online financial services, using technology to provide payment security and thus avoid physical contact to carry out transactions. These digital business models allow us to carry out financial operations (payments, transfers, currency exchange, among others) for which we would have previously needed to go to the bank, in a completely digital way and from the comfort of our cell phone (mobile first[4]).

Regarding digital financial services, another example worth mentioning is the use of electronic money as a means of payment and a tool to promote financial inclusion. This has been evidenced in countries such as Argentina and Colombia[5], who have relied on electronic money wallets to channel the payments that the State has made to the population, both for making payments, transfers, and for the subsidies granted, thus avoiding the risk of contagion that involves long queues in certain financial institutions or agencies with reduced hours[6]. The same is expected in Peru.

Also, the open banking[7] it is especially relevant, since open and collaborative finances are necessary in the current context. In this way, financial institutions are evaluating this option in order to transform the experience of their clients, giving greater decision-making power to consumers so that they are the ones who decide what to do with their information and with which financial service providers to contract. . In the UK, the organization of open banking (openbanking.org.uk) is promoting this tool in order to collaborate with the most vulnerable and affected by the pandemic, thus allowing aid to them to be channeled by various actors[8].

In line with the aforementioned examples, there are and will be many more cases, given that this is the time for the take-off and consolidation of digital businesses.

As we can see, there is still much to do and discover in the world of digital transformation, which is why it is necessary for companies to invest in technology so that digital services are democratized and reach the majority of the population. In addition, the professional profiles that will be necessary after the Covid-19 will be those related to technological development and support, highlighting among them specialists in computer science, systems and programming, and industrial engineers.[9].

In sum, it is time to face change, life will no longer be the same, we have the opportunity to take advantage of this difficult situation to migrate to a more agile and digital ecosystem. Let's accept the challenge.


[1] Combining the words "healthcare" and "technology," it implies the use of technology to drive innovative solutions in healthcare.

[2] It consists of conducting medical consultations through web platforms, using audiovisual tools to provide a preliminary diagnosis.

[3] For more information see: https://forbes.co/2020/04/16/tecnologia/rappi-inicia-sus-primeras-entregas-con-robots/

[4] Web design strategy in which compatibility with mobile devices is prioritized.

[5] For more information see: https://www.larepublica.co/finanzas/habra-un-cambio-grande-en-la-forma-en-como-se-pagan-los-subsidios-en-colombia-2991238

[6] For more information see: https://larepublica.pe/economia/2020/05/09/coronavirus-peru-segun-ljubica-vodanovic-con-el-dinero-electronico-se-habria-evitado-las-colas/

[7] Trend that seeks to open bank data to third-party financial service providers.

[8] For more information see: https://www.openbanking.org.uk/insights/power-of-the-network/

[9] For more information see: https://www.utec.edu.pe/noticias/el-futuro-despues-del-covid-19-que-perfiles-profesionales-se-hacen-imprescindibles-despues-de-esta-pandemia

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Alejandra Huachaca
Lawyer from Universidad del Pacífico (UP) and Finance Director at Lawgic Tec. She currently works at EY LAW Peru in the area of ​​Financial Regulation and FinTech. He has studied abroad at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Former member of FORSETI Law Review. Email: alejandra.huachaca@lawgictec.org

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