Banking on the Video wave

Arindam Mukherjee, Head - Banking & Financial Services Sales, Cisco India &SAARC

Retail banking customers of today are technology savvy, using social and mobile platforms excessively to exchange information both personal as well as professional, and demand an ‘always connect’ mode across their device of choice. Interestingly however it is these same customers expecting banks to be “always mobile” who are looking for personalized advice from their banks.  Therefore banks need to deploy a true omnichannel approach to differentiate between transactions that need to be made fast, convenient and automated; and interactions that need to be personalized and media-rich regardless of the channel.

Successfully deploying that approach will help drive customer acquisition and upsell / cross-sell in advice driven categories (e.g., mortgages, small and medium businesses, lending, wealth management, etc.) leading to increased customer loyalty and profits.  With banks operating in a challenging environment of rapid economic change, more technology-savvy customers, thinner margins, and increasing regulation, an omnichannel strategy will help to optimize retail channels based on customers' preferences to offer more personalized financial services.

Important to note is not only are the customers increasingly tech savvy… so is the workforce within the banking sector. The best and brightest next generation employees expect their workspace (banks) to be mobile. Whether enabling work to be done on a “bring your own device” (BYOD) smartphone or tablet, accessing their virtualized desktop across various endpoints, or empowering a subject matter expert to service banking customers (virtually via video) wherever they may be physically located, employees demand workplace flexibility.

In order for banks to maximize the potential of their employees and deliver a superior customer experience across channels and maintain the balance between the cost of talent and having experts at branches, banks are increasingly looking to technologies that give customers access to remote experts at home or office, complementing  face-to-face interaction and assisting them in closing the transactions. In a sense they are ‘virtualising’ their people.

Given the above, technology solutions for retail banking  that help unify and virtualize  data, applications, and human expertise will help provide  the agility and efficiency that enables the transformation required to stay ahead of competition.

Mounting video wave

Technology solutions especially video  that offer an in-person look and feel and can be deployed remotely help to serve the right customer at the right time and place with the right tools. Remote advisors, wealth advi­sors and video calling are the technologies that are useful for communication in the banking sector and are transforming how banks function and providing consumers with relevant information instantly.

Omnichannel  video solutions that enable banks to equip employees serve the right customer at the right time and place with the right tools include those like Remote Expert (From Cisco)capability in branch, at interactive kiosks, and via mobile devices and portal.  Using such solutions banks can improve their transaction efficiency and enhance the in-branch experience for customers. These solutions can be designed on a low cost model which consumes lesser real estate and limited skills to scale the network with fully automated functions, lowering operating expenses and providing a superior experience.

Other solutions like Cisco’s Mobile Advisor (MA), help transform a customers’ online and mobile experience by turning impersonal transactions into personal interactions. It gives banks the ability to deliver a consistent video-enabled experience— anywhere, anytime, and on any device. As a result, banks can differentiate themselves with superior service, form closer relationships, and meet customers’ financial needs. The integrated platform allows seamless Voice & Video Collaboration with embedded capabilities for Web and Mobile users. With Cisco Mobile Advisor,  customers can conduct business through visual, self-service choices on their smart phone, PC, laptop, or tablet computer.

Cisco Mobile Advisor uses proven Cisco Unified Communications infrastructure and integrates with existing customer relationship management (CRM) and customer information file (CIF), as well as with r mobile and Internet banking applications. Most importantly, this captures sales at point of client interaction making  anytime, anywhere, any channel consistent access to expertise improves close rates & cross-sell ratios.

Video most sought after

While video solutions still tend to have operational challenges like those of bandwidth especially in rural India,  it appears that the video channel will be the most sought after  to scale expertise and increase revenue at a lower cost than ever before. As banks learn to balance quality of experience, incremental revenues, and total cost of ownership of these solutions,  video-based services  represent a way for large banks to appear “smaller” (more intimate and local) through better access to expertise, and for smaller banks to appear “larger” by augmenting branch services with those of specialist partners. The video channel also allows banks to think of branches as a network of resources— not just a network of locations—that can be optimized to serve customer segments, thereby helping the bank manage demand better and rationalize staff. In this sense, the video channel offers the opportunity to truly transform retail banking.