While they turn to online banking, and given the rise in digital transformation, the most customers still appreciate the need for financial advice face-to-face, especially for complex transactions or help. Accenture’s recent study of financial service consumers show that on average two-thirds of consumers favour face-to-face interaction with their bank.
But, as banks rationalise branch networks and cut costs, how can this be facilitated while keeping a customer-centric strategy?
Alongside how they might empower staff to be advisers and consultants and consider the use of robo-advisers, video banking is another part of the answer. Some major banks like Barclays and Natwest are making video calls possible over customers’ mobile services.
However, it seems customers show a stronger preference for in-branch video banking. A 2018 study supported by the retail banking industry group EFMA, Vidyo and CUNA Strategic Services suggested more customers would be willing to use in-branch video (90 percent) than online video banking (85 percent).
There is an opportunity for financial institutions to integrate video banking service into how they are remodelling branches around digital hubs and consultation suites. Being able to extend specialist financial help can support those cases of extreme remote banking. For example, someone in rural Scotland can access face-to-face support setting up a bank account by remotely accessing a video teller based in Edinburgh, not only making better use of existing staff members’ time but also keeping their local branch open and profitable.
Technology must be a priority
In branch video technology can support accessibility to financial services and deliver a high quality service experience. With a remote teller available via video link, banks can service customers beyond the usual opening hours and even keep branches open 24/7, seven days a week. According to the same Kantar report, over half of organisations that had deployed video banking (56 percent) reported improved customer satisfaction.
Among the banks that are proactively using in-branch video technology to improve the quality of customer support is Portugal’s Millennium BCP bank.
There are potential pitfalls to implementing video banking. The biggest of these is how video can end up simply considered as adding in another channel that’s not properly integrated with other systems. As with every other aspect of modern retail banking, in-branch and mobile video banking need be a seamless element of an omnichannel positive experience.
There must be a unified data-sharing platform to ensure continuous transfer of customer personal data across all channels, including all forms of video, 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 be given the capability to remotely take control of the self-service terminal and complete an operation like form filling on behalf of the customer.
Auriga's insights: 5 tips for banks
So, as banks pilot or expand their video technology plans, what should they consider?
Here’s five pieces of advice:
Get the started early
There’s competitive advantage to introducing in-branch video banking. So get your plans off the ground as soon as possible.
Take a 360 degree view
Access to live consultants via video banking appointments can enhance all lines of business and types of transactions. So don’t be afraid to consider all options.
Measure, measure, measure
The importance of pre-planning and wide evaluation of use cases for video banking also put the onus on defining KPIs and having tools in place to measure the effectiveness of video technology delivering a positive customer experience. But first transfer the necessary customer service skills to your staff!
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.
It’s not just for the You Tube and social media generation
It may seem futuristic but existing video technology 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. Never hesitate in making video a mainstream banking option.