by Damien Simonneau, Director of Financial Services Solutions Marketing, Vidyo

Today’s consumer is busier than ever, and increasingly is skipping the visit to the branch and opting for the convenience and speed of other banking channels.

When they do take the time to visit a branch, customers or members might be confronted by long lines or find that the necessary financial expertise isn’t available on-site. In this scenario, a telephone call is often the only resort.

An online or in-branch video banking solution could be the way to bring the human touch back to high-value banking transactions, though. An online solution for consumers to use with their personal devices — laptops, tablets, smartphones — makes it easy and intuitive to build a trusting relationship with your customers, wherever they are.

Or you can add a kiosk or video meeting room in a branch where customers can have a face-to-face conversation with a remote financial expert.

Both options ensure that your customers personally meet with the right specialist at the location most convenient for them. Imagine your customers applying for a mortgage or business loan right from their home computer or smartphone, assisted by one of your experts over video. Imagine reducing costs by not having to hire specialists for every branch.

With video banking still in its infancy, few consumers have been exposed to it. But banks that have deployed video banking have found that the technology offers many benefits, including:

  • Higher cross-sell of products
  • Increased close rates and faster sales cycles
  • Greater customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Reduced workload in branches
  • Enhanced revenue opportunity

To become video-ready and successfully deploy and maintain an effective video banking program, consider the following eight tips:

  1. Prioritize requirements:Identify your requirements for specific product areas — from loan origination and account opening to commercial banking and wealth management — and consider ways video banking can best be leveraged across them.
  2. Consider both in-branch and online video banking options: With in-branch video, your customers will be assured of always speaking to the right specialist no matter where that specialist is located. Online, your customers can connect from anywhere, giving them both convenience and flexibility.
  3. Get the right technology: Shop for and identify a suitable video technology that will address all your needs. This could be an off-the-shelf solution if your needs are limited, or a more customizable one that will support your unique requirements. Either way, make sure that it will be able to handle the constraints of consumer-grade devices and networks if you plan to offer online video banking services.
  4. Establish key performance indicators up front: Determine ways to measure video banking’s performance, such as setting targets and thresholds and designing actionable reports.
  5. Plan for cultural change: To drive adoption of video banking among your staff, make sure they are aware of it and trained to use it properly. Being video-ready is very different from being phone-ready, and making your staff comfortable will help them help your customers adopt it as well.
  6. Market your video banking options: Promote your video banking service to inform customers of its benefits, from ease of use to convenience. This can be done with in-branch collateral or externally via local newspapers, direct mail, and email.
  7. Extend video banking to all customers: Don’t think of age as a barrier to the adoption of video banking. Millennials have grown up with online video and it can get them interested in banking services. Likewise, many senior citizens are already comfortable with video from speaking remotely with friends and family members.
  8. Keep video banking fresh: Always look for new applications in which to use video to keep it fresh for consumers and staff and to uncover additional avenues for revenue. This could include using video conferencing for internal meetings and training so that staff from multiple branches don’t have to commute to one branch to participate.

There’s no doubt that video banking will become a must-have in the next few years. By implementing it today, you’ll have a competitive differentiator in your market and can reap the benefits that others — including Barclays and IndusInd Bank— have.

Video banking will become the new normal as a means of communicating with your customers, bringing the human touch back to your digital communications and benefiting your customers and your bottom line.