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Smart selling practices with Virtual Branch Banking - Part 1.

Recently, customers have broad access to knowledge regarding banking products and services. However, when browsing a bank’s website, they often rely on support through remote channels i.e. chat, audio / voice or video.

Incorporating virtual branch banking into digital customer journeys mitigates the risk of difficult navigation which can lead to customer frustration. For instance using collaborative tools like co-browsing or document sharing enables to speed up the process of filling a form for a bank’s product.

In the last article “Key enhancements with Virtual Branch Banking platforms” I’ve covered various dimensions of communication and collaboration platforms. This time I would like to dive more into sales activities which might be facilitated with virtual branch banking. In consequence it leads to raising of quality standards and exceeding sales objectives.

Virtual branch banking is usually a part of existing contact centre, but also dedicated remote service located in a bank’s branch: remote advisors or service through virtual teller machines (VTM). Actually this communication platform, having chat, video and audio, is complementary to other banking channels thanks to its collaborative tools (co-browsing, document sharing, screen sharing). Recently the bank can rely on the knowledge on the customer’s behaviour and gain the sales efficiency of each step in the pipeline, from searching a bank’s product, through product’s application to signing an agreement.

1. Acquisition of new to bank customers and cross selling opportunities through digital onboarding eKYC.

Acquisition and onboarding activities improve cross-sel­ling performances. Digital onboarding eKYC can assist organizations in providing an easy and swift process, along with serving as a gateway to other banking products, like personal loans, credit cards, deposits, funds or mortgages. 

Digital onboarding eKYC example:

  • A customer opens a banking website and provides general personal data
  • Video connection with virtual branch banking
  • A virtual branch banking assistant takes a picture of customer’s ID (a front and back site of the document)
  • The customer is asked to move the document (vertically and horizontally), so that the virtual branch banking assistant can assess the hologram (how the document reflects the light)
  • The customer takes a selfie
  • Thanks to biometric feature the selfie is compared to the photo taken from ID document
  • All data from customer’s  ID are taken through Optical Character Recognition feature (OCR) which improves data quality as well as shortens the process
  • Virtual branch banking usually is integrated with banking back end systems to verify customer’s data in database of restricted documents, internal blacklist database, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)  and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP)
  • An agreement is sent to the customer’s email box as well as instructions needed for internet and mobile banking activation

The several short steps enable to open a banking account without physical presence of the customer in the branch. The process described above might be automatized for instance by retrieving a picture of customer’s ID without video interaction, thus connecting with a virtual branch banking assistant to carry out further verification and finalizing current account opening.

The key deliverables of digital onboarding eKYC:

  • A new to bank customer within 10 minutes
  • Swift activation of internet and mobile banking
  • Automatic retrieving of personal data from customer’s ID (OCR)
  • Increase satisfaction and loyalty
  • Time saving on the customer site – no necessity of physical presence in the branch
  • Ensuring security of customer’s identification through biometric tools
  • Opening doors for new sales opportunities, increasing customer’s live time value (LTV)

75% of all cross-sales from new retail current account take place within three months from acquisition, that’s why the acquisition process is only the first step to increase customer’s LTV (Live Time Value). The banks which communicate properly within first 90 days mitigate the risk of customers’ attrition. 
[1] Source: Julian Troake, Xerox Global Services, Paul McAdam, “Customer Relationship White Paper, Growing customer relationship: 90 days that make it or break it”.

Virtual branch banking with its communication channels, chat, audio, video improves omnichannel customer handling capability. A new to bank customer has an instant support to human assisted channels, which shapes the manner in which customers relate to the bank. Moreover virtual branch banking might have a capability to measure the satisfaction level i.e. Customer Satisfaction Rate, Net Promoter Score (NPS) after a conversation is finished, thus reacting accordingly to the customer’s expectations.

2. Increase personal loan and credit card sales for the new target group.

Since the banks base their income mainly on interest rates and fees, still personal loan and credit cards are in focus to derive great sales opportunities.

Virtual branch banking is broadening its target group of customers, including not only mass market customers but also the top-tier earners in society. A great part of virtual branch banking active users have never used a contact centre. Now, with new channels as chat or video with its collaborative tools, it serves to another group of existing and potential customers. The availability of many channels is a driver, not merely for improving quality, but also for increasing sales.

To increase sales based on virtual branch banking interactions a bank can incorporate two-fold strategy:

  • Pull – leverage on customers who need advice, being on a website, online banking, mobile app
    or banking Facebook profile and contact the bank through virtual branch banking for product information
  • Push – boosting sales thanks to massive commercial campaigns. Virtual branch banking might be integrated with banking CRM platform. The key success driver consists of both, real-time support and action. It’s possible to embed a 360 degree customer profile in virtual branch banking platform to display all customer data and potential offers as soon as the customer is identified. Virtual branch banking should be integrated with a core banking system to ensure secure identification and authentication of the customer. Therefore, a virtual branch banking assistant can make a proposal of banking product. If the customer has a pre-approved offer, like a personal loan or credit card, s/he can provide all information needed to accomplish completion of an application during a conversation with an agent. Afterwards, the customer can accept the agreement based on available authorization methods like SMS codes. The process of product application can be facilitated with co-browsing functionality which enables to take control over the product form and finalize the application by virtual branch banking assistant

3. Mortgages, fully-fledged assistance for complex products.

Depending on the regulations and readiness to serve a fully digital process the bank can decide which steps may be proceeded through a virtual banking platform and further carried on in bank’s branch.

When being on the website, not sufficient information might affect customer frustration and drop off. In addition lack of remote exchange document process slows down the process and leads to recurred visits to the bank's branch.

Virtual branch banking thanks to chat, video and audio channels with its collaborative tools empowers banks to gain one of the most practical incomes as well as extend Live Time Value (LTV) of the customer.

One of the business scenarios may consist of the following elements:

  • Explaining the offer to the customer
  • Instalment calculation based on the given volume and tenor, visualisation of the bank’s calculator with screen-sharing functionality
  • Sending an initial offer through document sharing feature
  • Sending documents’ check-list necessary for credit check
  • Collecting all documents without necessity of physical visit in the branch
  • Giving an instant access to chat history (live chat functionality)
  • Transfer of documents for credit check
  • Regular notification of the customer regarding the status of the application
  • Issuing a final decision and mortgage agreement
  • Concluding the contract with only on visit to branch or signing agreement digitally

The key deliverables of mortgage assistance:

  • Customers being online expect having instant human assistance
  • Majority of customers have never approached the bank via contact centre which is a great potential for acquisition and mortgage sales
  • Collaborative tools like screen sharing enable discuss all details regarding the offer
  • Supporting the customer with document collection and filling the application form through co-browsing functionality
  • Shortening the process and increasing quality of leads

To summarize virtual branch banking platforms are reliable solutions that ensure secure sales and service processes. It responds to needs of new banking customer mainly through complementary channels, like chat and video. It makes banking more accessible and convenient to acquire products even if it needs more complex service model, mortgage process for instance. Stay tuned for Smart selling practices with Virtual Branch Banking – Part 2.


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Bartlomiej Szymanski

Bartlomiej Szymanski

Business Consultant


Member since

17 Oct 2018



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

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