Augmented reality is making the navigation of banking solutions more engaging for consumers, and is the next stage in the evolution of mobile banking.
Following the runaway success of Pokemon Go, India’s Axis Bank has introduced an AR feature called ‘Near Me’ within its mobile banking application. Via augmented reality (AR), Axis Bank’s mobile app users will be able to search for finance-approved properties, dining offers, and cashback and ATM locations simply by using their mobile camera. Although many banks already use AR to enhance non-secure features such as ATM and branch finders, Axis Bank is the first in the country to use this technology and offer interactive and engaging ways of navigating its banking solutions.
The bank has partnered with property site Magicbricks.com to launch this service, and the AR view incorporated in the ‘Near Me’ functionality is available to all individuals who download the Axis Mobile app. The app enables users to search and locate new, under construction, and resale properties in a 360-degree mode through their mobile camera. Users of the app can also connect sellers and builders across India, check if they are eligible to purchase the property, and apply for a home loan with the bank.
The app is designed such that on-the-go customers can start the camera and see on the screen if there are any offers around them. To make it easy to use, Axis Bank has incorporated the search feature at the pre-login stage. An interesting aspect for mobile banking is that with the introduction of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), mobile banking applications become interoperable. While GPS-based search tools feature in many mobile banking apps, the AR element makes the process more playful and engaging.
Augmented reality has the potential to transform the way consumers engage with their banks and their financial lives, and to do so in a way that does not add significantly to operating costs. Mobile has become an essential banking channel for consumers, particularly those in younger age groups. As per our 2016 Consumer Payments Insight Survey, 9 in 10 consumers own a smartphone in India and 4 in 10 shop using their smartphone weekly . Given India’s rising smartphone penetration levels, it is forecasted to not only overtake the US as the world’s second-largest smartphone market in 2016, but will have 500 million internet users by 2017.
Adding augmented reality to its app is therefore a clever move by Axis Bank. Not only does it clearly differentiate the bank from its rivals, it also opens up a new way of engaging with mobile enthusiasts. Delivering added value through the ‘Near Me’ feauture will help Axis Bank to engage more deeply with its customers.
By Resham Karira, Retail Banking Analyst