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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

HSBC rolls out online video consultations

HSBC has launched an online video consultation service that enables its Premier customers in Hong Kong to hold virtual meetings with relationship managers.


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HSBC rolls out online video consultations

I really like this kind of innovation honestly. It is cost saving, client friendly and lets banks do business on a geographically larger scale, well done HSBC!

Of course this is not a new technology. OK I cannot test it, not being a client of HSBC and not living in Hong Kong either, but it sounds like a tuned skypetechnology. The basic principle I mean: you call on broadband and you have the possibility to use a webcam... skype enough for me to make the comparison!

Let us go though the arguments for a moment. It is cost saving. Well... is it? I guess this technology should not be seen as a replacement of local branches, but rather an extra service. Extra services cost money, no? So where is the cost savings aspect then? I guess it is easy: from now on these branches can simply replace most of their phonecalls through broadband communication which they pay anyway. So no more phone-connection costs and less phones as well probably since most communication is done via computer. I don't know how far these things have evolved in Hong Kong so far, but as far as I know it is still odne by phone in Belgium.

It is user friendly because, as they say in the article, customers only have to open a window and they get in contact with their relationship manager. The customer does not have to go to the branch for a discussion, he does not have to send an email or make a more impersonal phonecall. No, he can see his relationship manager and discuss face to face without even getting out of his chair. Great step forward if you ask me!

In case of problems he does not have to call a contact center or send an email, thanks to the Let Us Call You service he just has to mention his language and phonenumber and a customer service representative will call you! That is a great service (if you do not have to wait too long). Wish we had it. I mean I remember phone calls with call centers (although not to a bank) where the waiting time was so long that my battery ran out!

Last argument was that now they can do business on a geographical larger scale. Speaks for itself I guess... as relationship managers just have to make an online call with their client to do the routine sales talk and the customer servicing than distance is not an issue anymore. Moreover, more clients could be serviced by one relationship manager maybe... and that is another element to save costs, which brings us in the beginning again.

That is why I say: well done HSBC!

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