“Reimagining, redesigning and rethinking the branches of the future” is a hot topic for banks. In order to stay ahead in the race, Banks have been experimenting with creating concept branches, adding elements such as Coffee Bars, Lounge Areas,
Spa-like branches with custom fragrances and music and the like. Beyond aesthetics, to address changing digital lifestyles, other changes include Teller-less branches, Interactive ATMs, branches with robots instead of tellers, the list goes on…
Typically, branches use self-service to encourage customers away from the teller counter. However, customers expect a teller while doing large, complex or multi-step transactions. A research conducted by
Glory revealed that 93% of respondents feel frustrated by self-service technology. The most commonly cited reason for not using self-service machines was found to be a preference to speak to a bank staff. In fact, 31% of people never self-serve and 30%
of people say having a bank staff on hand would make them more inclined to use self-service for more complex transactions, such as loan applications.
For these reasons, Video Banking is particularly interesting. It is a bridge between the physical and the virtual world. Video banking can perform transactions or professional banking consultations via a remote video connection from the comfort of customers’
home/office or via video teller kiosks.
Video tellers can be activated by touching the kiosk screen. Some interesting features are instant credit for deposits, document/photo ID scanner that allows cashing of cheques and transacting by identifying yourself through your driver’s license or any
other acceptable ID proof, if you are not carrying your card. Customers can also sign the signature pad for additional security. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Coastal Federal Credit Union in USA, FirstOntario Credit Union in Canada and Zeerat Bank in Turkey
are few examples of institutions who have already embraced this technology.
Barclays, BMO Harris Bank in Chicago, Russian Standard Bank and Coutts have launched Video advisory services. Customers are able to speak to a bank adviser - ‘face-to-face’ – without having to travel to their nearest branch. They connect virtually with a
teller, relationship manager, mortgage officer or branch manager through their smartphone, tablet, laptop or home computer. National Australian Bank (NAB) even provides online loan processing through video chat and the UK’s Nationwide expanding it beyond mortgages
to include financial planning and personal banking managers.
- Enabling bank customers to talk to staff based in call centres or branch through video banking improves efficiency, convenience and security
- Video Banking will also pave way for banks to extend their services to non-branch locations, including rural areas
- Banks can also streamline workforce and manage their idle time, as the virtual tellers won’t be limited to serving traffic at just one location. The
2015 FMSI Teller Line Study revealed productivity decline of 17.9% resulting from increased
idle time and Waiting for Work Time (WFW) in branches due to constant staffing levels and declining activity volume.
Video banking enables Banks to preserve the human interaction that customers still desire.
Accenture's 2014 Consumer Digital Banking Survey backs this customer preference; it revealed that 56% of millennials want to video chat with bank representatives. The industry’s dependence on interactions across its ecosystem makes it imperative for banks
to examine ways to involve and interact with customers anytime and anywhere. Video banking, like mobile and digital banking, will run in tandem with branch services and to me would be a logical step in branch evolution. If done correctly, it will help banks
to meet and exceed customer expectations and position them to be more competitive.
Do you think that Video Banking will be the new name of the game? Let me know your opinion.