October 1, 2020
It may be hard to remember, but when 2020 dawned, unemployment was near historic lows, at about 3.6 percent. GDP was growing at a healthy clip, and most companies — large and small — saw the trends of top-line and bottom-line growth as set to continue.
Then, all too quickly, everything changed, and the virus hit home. The lockdowns interrupted daily life and the ebbs and flows of everyday commerce. Between January and April alone, more than 20 million individuals lost their jobs in the U.S. alone. GDP plunged double-digit percentages as Main Street small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) found themselves in crisis, and “work from home” became the norm. The great digital shift, to life lived online, was and is seismic in scope.
Battling a recession is never easy — and as the old saying goes, this time it’s different. But many of the tech-nimble firms we surveyed had built business models that have at least some familiarity with the financial crisis of a decade ago. All of them had to contend with the challenges of conducting “business as usual as much as possible” with distributed workforces, where back office functions became digital out of necessity.
Along with 34 other payment executives, MerchantE’s Chief Risk Officer, Eric Haru, weighs in on how professionals have adjusted to the new challenges and dynamics in managing risk.
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