Bank Branches Are Not Dying; They Are Evolving Into Video Banking

October 13, 2021

While video banking is not news in some countries, in others, the trend and experimentation with merging video and banking are actively picking up. As a result, video banking could become the banking of the next generation along with mobile-only banks and other latest trends in banking.

Video banking has certain advantages in comparison to traditional ways of communication between banks and customers.

One of the important advantages is that multimedia content may be presented directly on the client’s screen. Consequently, a consultant will be able to share his screen with a client, presenting details of the bank’s offer as well as displaying documents, forms, and applications that might be collectively fulfilled during the conversation.

Video banking can increase the efficiency of the wealth management department, allowing consultants/advisors to schedule more meetings and have eye contact with the client. In the process of virtual meetings, advisors would also be able to send links and documents with service offers and details that clients could study afterward.

As financial institutions start seeing great opportunities in video banking, a growing number of financial institutions have started planning the implementation. A recently published report on video banking by Vidyo (a visual communication platform company) and Efma (a not-for-profit association of financial services companies) suggests that in 2016, 10% of banks have already deployed video banking systems. By 2017, almost 80% of all banks will plan to launch a video banking service in the long term.

Among the main reasons financial institutions are planning to deploy video banking are increased customer satisfaction, an image of an innovative financial institution, and enhancement of online relevance.

Financial institutions that already have a video banking solution in place have noticed a positive outcome for their business. As Giovanni Rossi, Director of Branch Network at CheBanca! commented in the report, We found out that the close selling rate of a video banking meeting is similar to what we experience with physical meetings.

The trend is perpetuated by the growing adoption and usage of mobile and online banking solutions. One country, in particular, is ahead of the world: in 2015, in Norway, 90% of adults were reported to be banking online. For the EU, the number was 46%.

Among the financial institutions piloting or having video banking deployed are CheBanca!, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, and IndusInd Bank.

At the end of 2014, Barclays became the first bank in the UK to offer face-to-face video banking. The service was made available to all retail customers, automatically matching customers to a specific member of staff they have spoken to previously, if available. Barclays decided to move forward with video banking based on highly successful video technology available in many UK branches, as well as Sign Video, where customers who use British Sign Language can speak to an interpreter through video to communicate at their convenience.

The same year, Nationwide, the world’s largest building society, introduced Nationwide Now in over 60 branches across the country. The service enabled offering customers additional access to mortgages available from the Society via a high-definition video link. Nationwide Now was aimed to drive down waiting times, increase access to mortgage advice across the UK and allow customers to talk to a mortgage consultant at a time that suits them. Based in Nationwide’s Northampton office, these consultants were to offer the same beginning-to-end and fully compliant mortgage service as an in-branch consultant.

Another financial institution that has rushed into video banking is Lloyds Banking Group. At the end of March, the financial institution announced that Lloyds Bank and Halifax customers would be able to speak with a mortgage advisor face-to-face from the comfort of their own home via a video link on a laptop, desktop, or tablet computer.

The video service, which was successfully piloted for Lloyds customers throughout 2015, is promised to provide a convenient alternative for those who would otherwise be required to travel to a branch or speak to a mortgage advisor on the phone. According to customer feedback following the pilot, 95% of customers rated their experience as good or excellent. Additionally, 16 Lloyds Bank branches are piloting the video service for customers coming into the branch, aiming to increase mortgage appointment availability at peak times.

IndusInd Bank is another example. In 2014, the bank launched a new service called Video Branch. Video Branch is a service offered exclusively for all IndusInd Bank customers, allowing them to connect with a branch manager, a relationship manager, or a centralized Video Branch Executive. Non-Resident Indians can also use Video Branch to experience personalized banking service even though they are far away from home. Video Branch covers all banking services which are currently offered on IndusInd Bank Phone Banking. Customers can also perform financial transactions like opening a fixed deposit or recurring deposit, transferring funds through NEFT, RTGS, and more.

There are certainly more examples, and over time, more financial institutions will announce the launch of their own video banking services. But regardless of the opportunities video banking can open for financial institutions and customers, success is highly dependent on the efforts invested in informing, promoting, and educating the whole customer base about the service. In addition, it is crucial to create the anticipation of exciting, convenient, and seamless service. For that to be possible, financial institutions are required to invest significant resources in developing or finding, and deploying the most reliable, secure, multi-device, and high-quality solutions.

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