or wait 15 seconds
or wait 15 seconds
By Mark Aldred, head of international sales at Auriga
Even as consumers turn to online banking, they still appreciate face-to-face financial advice, especially when it comes to complex transactions. In fact, a recent Accenture study showed that on average two-thirds of customers favor face-to-face interactions with their bank.
But as banks rationalize branch networks and cut costs, the question is, how can this be facilitated while keeping a customer-centric strategy?
Alongside empowering staff to become advisers and consultants and considering the use of robo-advisers, video banking is another part of the answer. Some major banks like Barclays and Natwest are already making video calls possible over customers' mobile services.
It seems customers would welcome in-branch video banking as well. In a 2018 study supported by retail banking industry group EFMA, Vidyo and CUNA Strategic Services suggested more customers would be willing to use in-branch video (90%) than online video banking (85%).
As financial institutions remodel their branches around digital hubs and consultation suites, they might also consider integrating video banking services. Among the benefits, it would allow them to support extreme remote banking. For instance, someone setting up a bank account in rural Scotland could access face-to-face support by remotely accessing a video teller based in Edinburgh. This would allow the bank to make better use of staff members' time and keep a local branch open and profitable.
With a remote teller available via video link, banks can also service customers 24/7.
According to the same report, over half of organizations that had deployed video banking (56%) reported improved customer satisfaction. Anecdotally, branches deploying video technology are as much as twice as productive as others.
Among the banks that are proactively using in-branch video technology to improve the quality of customer support is Portugal's Millennium BCP bank.
Of course, there are potential pitfalls to implementing video banking. The biggest of which is when banks don't properly integrate video with other systems and channels. In-branch video and mobile video banking need be part of a seamless omnichannel experience. There needs to be a unified data-and service-sharing platform to ensure continuous transfer of customer data across all channels, so that information exchanged via one channel is available on all other platforms.
A good example of what you might see happening is how, with the authorization of the customer, a video banking operator can remotely take control of the self-service terminal and complete an operation such as form filling on behalf of the customer.
As you pilot or expand your video banking plans, here are five pieces of advice to consider:
1) Get started early — There's competitive advantage to introducing in-branch video banking. So get your plans off the ground as soon as possible.
2) Take a 360 degree view — Access to live consultants via video banking can enhance all lines of business and types of transactions. So don't be afraid to consider all options.
3) Measure, measure, measure — The importance of pre-planning and wide evaluation of use cases for video banking also puts the onus on defining KPIs and having tools in place to measure the effectiveness of video banking delivering a positive customer experience. But first transfer the necessary customer service skills to your staff.
4) Reject video communication solutions — the goal of video banking is to improve workflows and to be an integral, not an add-on, to the omnichannel approach that's so vital. So choose a technology vendor that has proven experience and offers an omnichannel service platform.
5) It's not just for the YouTube and social media generation — it may seem futuristic but existing video banking deployments aren't simply designed to appeal to Gen Z and the Millennials. There's less resistance to accessing services over video links so long as they are secure and private, especially in branch. Never hesitate in making video banking a mainstream banking option.
A version of this story originally appeared on Auriga's blog.