Combining the convenience of online with the personal elements of face-to-face banking, Wells Fargo’s recent trial of its new video banking service promises to be a success and points towards the future of banking advice.
As society becomes more comfortable with, and expectant of, digital delivery, banks need to become more innovative in their communications if they are to continue to attract and retain customers. With firms eager to close costly branches in favor of mobile services, video-based banking offers an effective way of preserving the human touch.
Findings in our recent report Retail Banking Country Snapshot: US confirm that there is an opportunity for all of the country’s banks to benefit from an increased focus on digital fulfilment. With more than a fifth of consumers using the online channel on a daily basis, it is undoubtedly the preferred method of banking in the US. Furthermore, online enjoys the highest levels of user satisfaction compared to other channels, with 64% of consumers being very satisfied with the various aspects of the user experience, particularly ease of logging in. However, the lack of human contact still represents the single most important adoption barrier in the US.
By addressing this issue, Wells Fargo’s new video banking service is likely to appeal to its digitally savvy customer base. Initially, Wells Fargo’s new service is targeting customers who want to conduct mortgage- and loan-related transactions. However, over time the bank intends to add general banking transactions to the system.
This blended channel is not just seen in the US but globally, as more and more financial institutions are offering their customers options that let them bank as it fits into their lives. In July, Standard Chartered outlined plans to roll out its video banking service to more than five million users across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, while in the UK Lloyds Bank and Halifax customers can now speak with a mortgage advisor from the comfort of their own home through a video link.
Interest in video is rapidly increasing as banks respond to cost pressures and consumers increasingly bank while at home or on the move. For financial services providers that need to close local branches, video is a sensible way to ensure customers are able to receive a personal customer experience. This remains of value to customers, particularly when dealing with complicated transactions, or sensitive conversations where privacy is important.
By investing in video, providers such as Wells Fargo and others will be able to improve the quality of their customer experience and boost satisfaction levels. Video will become an integral part of banks’ communication strategies and is a powerful way to humanize digital technology.
By Resham Karira, Retail Banking Analyst