Wells Fargo says that a pilot programme that lets customers talk to a bank staffer face-to-face from the comfort of their own homes over video connection has proved a big hit.
Wells began piloting Video Call in May for existing and potential customers of home equity lines of credit. To talk to a personal video banker, users simply click on a button online between 9:00am and 9:00pm.
As banking turns increasingly digital, with firms eager to close expensive branches in favour of mobile services, video services are being seen as an effective way of maintaining the human touch.
In July, Standard Chartered outlined plans to roll out its video banking service to more than five million users across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, while in the UK Lloyds Bank and Halifax customers can now speak with a mortgage advisor from the comfort of their own home through a video link to consumer laptops, desktops or tablet computers.
Wells cites the example of 90-year-old John Howse, a retired detective who has been part of the Video Call pilot. Howse built up a relationship with bank employee Ruby over the phone before talking to her face-to-face from his desktop.
Says Ruby: "Phone bankers talk to customers all day long. But the Video Call takes our conversations to another level. Customers see a team member’s face on the other end, and then we’re much more than just a voice."
With the service proving popular, Wells' consumer lending unit expects to continue offering Video Call to home equity customers into 2017, and is considering rolling it out to other areas as well.
Jim Smith, head, virtual channels, Wells Fargo, says: "This is a great example of giving customers a digital solution that carries with it the powerful, personal touch our bankers deliver. Video Call gives customers another choice in how to bank with us, and it gives us a chance to humanize digital technology."