Canada's BMO has expanded its video conferencing service which allows customers in remote and rural branch locations to chat live with specialist financial advisors onscreen.
Started as a pilot in 2009, the service - now available in 51 locations - has been expanded so customers can access specialists in retail banking; commercial and small business; and wealth management.
BMO is using Cisco high-definition, desk-top video conferencing technology to allow customers and financial experts to have a conversation, share research and presentations and use BMO tools and calculators.
"This service allows us to reach customers in remote locations that do not have immediate access to financial specialists," says Paul Dilda, head of branch channel for North America, BMO Bank of Montreal. "It also enables employees to cut down on travel time and cover regions more effectively, rather than having to wait and set up meetings with clients that could take a month."
Dilda notes that BMO opted for video conferencing rather than self-service video kiosks; a branch employee always helps the customer reach the remote specialist at the other end of the video conferencing setup. "We wanted the service to be seamless, secure, private and free," he says.