Digitization transits services, sale and interactions with the customers to various channels. As far as banks are improving customer journeys they offer much more ways to give the best-class service, assistance and finalize the sale without going to the branch. Transition from the bricks and mortar approach to omnichannel experience is made by shaping the service model based on the strategy and customer expectations. Virtual branch banking gives the opportunity to be the touch point, which connects all channel’s characteristics by humanizing interactions with customers.
If the following TOP drivers for virtual branch banking implementation are analysed – you are close to create a great experience for your customers and added-value for the bank:
1. COMPLEX PRODUCTS ASSISTANCE
Complex products assistance with virtual branch banking. This channel is enabler for complex product sales i.e. personal loans, credits cards, mortgage and funds. Why? – the answer is as follows:
- the customer needs a professional assistance and advice, usually coming from dedicated advisor with face to face interactions or chat
- you can present the product, clarify all questions, calculate the instalments or different product characteristics together with your customer using desktop sharing and co-browsing functionality
- you may send and collect all documents which are needed for credibility check with document sharing functionality
- you can finalize the transaction and sales
2. ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT
Active engagement in customer journey. Nowadays almost every customer is searching information about the products and services on the public website. By using reporting and online analytics you may understand what the blocking points are where “the customer feels like in the fog”. You won’t be 100% sure if the customer contacts with call centre or visits the branch. You better be proactive and offer a contact button over there … but don’t be pushy offering video by all means … let’s go further with our considerations.
3. CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Customer journey optimization can wisely position an access to video banking. If you offer a video / chat / audio button contact on every step where the customer has an issue you probably won’t achieve the best way to solve the request. Think about your past activities i.e. which channels offer the best experience for your costumers and you will find out where virtual branch banking decreases the drop of the customers being on the banking website.
4. COMPLEMENTARY SOLUTION TO OTHER BANKING CHANNELS
Virtual branch banking as a complementary solution to other channels. The meaning of omnichannel strategy it’s not about mapping every service for every channel. It’s about giving the seamless experience where the customer may switch between the channels to satisfy their needs. Sometimes it’s better to reach the call center but you’ll likely, find video / chat channel as added value where human interactions are combined with desktop sharing and co-browsing functionalities. Deployment of virtual branch banking in call center or in a physical branch (VTM – Video Teller Machine) is a must to serve the complementary channel in digital strategy of the banks.
5. BOOST ACQUISITION AND ONBOARDING
Boost Acquisition and onboarding with virtual branch banking (eKYC – digital onboarding). Banks are focused on organic growth. Nowadays the regulators created the possibility to open an account fully digitally, but still it varies from country to country. Check if your local legal environment allows to open an account without the need of physical presence of the customer in the branch. If yes, go for it – onboarding is just the first step to offer other products i.e. personal loans, credit cards, mortgages and funds.
6. ADDED VALUE FOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Virtual branch banking creates added value for the specific products and services. As the channels are evolving there is a need to tailor the service model and products to the way of interacting with the customer. Virtual branch banking gives a great opportunity to create value by selling current accounts (eKYC – digital onboarding with biometric check functionality), saving accounts (possibility to authorize the transaction during the conversation with the customer), personal loans (document sharing facility and finalizing sales transaction i.e. with OTP). Remember, virtual brach it’s not only for transactions and service information – it brings you much more value.
7. INTEGRATION WITH BANKING SYSTEMS
Integration with other systems improves channel’s usage above standard functionalities i.e. video, audio and chat. Today multiple vendors are available, covering most functionalities, however with different expertise and focus i.e. video experts, chat experts, online legitimation experts, OCR experts. During the decision phase the price shouldn’t be the key point of your researches. The cheapest solution usually it’s not the best one. Why? – because the less functionalities and integration you have at roll-out of the project the more threats and costs will be produced later. Depending on your digital strategy virtual branch banking can offer various functionalities and business scenarios but the most important could be: video, chat and audio (smooth switching between channels “is a must”), secure identification and authentication (transactions), eKYC- digital onboarding (digital acquisition and onboarding of new customers), supporting sales processes i.e. personal loans, mortgages, saving account, credit cards and funds. On the top of that integration with local CRM platform is helpful to get a 360-degree overview of the customer.
8. TRANSITION FROM BRICK AND MORTAR TO VIRTUAL BRANCH BANKING
Virtual branch banking as the response to closing branches process. We’re facing the revolution in how the customers are interacting with the banks, when going digital is constantly growing. Not so long-ago banks experienced how implementation of mobile banking created a value for the banks despite the fact there was no business case or was based only on adopted assumptions. We cannot stop the trend of shrinking branches number and leave the customers without human element in banking.
To summarize virtual branch banking is the future because it’s humanizing interactions with the banks. Moreover is becoming complementary channel which offers a great experience for the customers and on the other hand boost acquisition, innovation brand and reduces workload in branches for the bank.
Author: Bartłomiej Szymański, Business Consultant at LiveBank