According to a new mobile banking study from Citi, 81% of U.S. consumers use their phone to manage their money at least ninedays per month. Nine out of 10 said they preferred using apps over visiting a branch, and one-third of Americans use their mobile banking app more than any other on their smartphone.
“If you don’t have a strong digital and mobile strategy, I don’t know if you’re going to be around,” said Lisa Huertas, Chief eXperience Officer at the $166 million Texas Tech Credit Union in Lubbock, Texas. “I don’t say that to be a doomsday person. Right now, today, you’ve got to be building those bridges between the physical and digital experience.”
Video banking can be that bridge, offering face-to-face service in the palm of consumers’ hands. It’s a holistic solution that allows financial institutions to serve larger geographical territories at lower costs while improving the customer experience.
POPin Video Banking also provides robust document support, allowing customers to use the app to submit everything they need to open a new account or apply for a loan. From photo IDs and tax documents to signatures, video banking can provide any service offered in a branch, except dispense cash.
Thanks to feedback from our early adopter clients, we’ve discovered some unexpected benefits of video banking. Here are six exciting uses for video banking you may not have considered.
Lower Loan Loss: Southwest Financial Credit Union, a $63 million institution in Dallas, Texas, reported that mobile video banking’s document support has reduced loan loss. Before the credit union implemented the platform, loan applicants often forgot to email or fax required documents.
“I want to unplug the fax machine,” said Luke Campbell, Vice President of Sales and Service. “I don’t want to use it anymore.”
He went on to say, “Having (the ability to get a) guaranteed signature has been the benefit. Our employees are seeing their loan numbers go up because they’re not losing loans anymore.”
Fraud Verification: Customers who suspect fraud on their account are already under stress, and don’t welcome the added inconvenience of being asked to visit a branch to resolve the issue. Mobile video banking offers immediate assistance. And, the fact that the call happens over video adds an additional element of security. Employees can verify they are speaking to the account holder through visual identification.
Wire Transfer Verification: Whether wire transfers are domestic or foreign remittances, regulations and fraud mitigation responsibilities require verification. Jennifer Oliver, President/ CEO at the $102 million South Bay Credit Union in Redondo Beach, Calif., said her employees use video banking to verify wire transfers rather than using a phone or making the customer visit the branch.
“That was an unexpected benefit of deploying this type of platform,” she said, noting that it resolves a growing business problem experienced by nearly all financial institutions.
Multilingual Access: Branch employees at the $450 million Pioneer Credit Union in Mountain Home, Idaho, are referring Spanish-speaking members to the centrally-located video call center for immediate assistance when no multilingual branch representative is on duty. A sizable segment of the U.S. population — 21%, or roughly 61 million people — speak a language other than English with Spanish. This is a huge staffing and scheduling advantage, particularly for institutions that serve ethnic populations in their market.
Maintaining Customers Who Relocate: Losing customers and accounts due to job transfers or career changes used to feel unavoidable. In the past, customers simply felt they couldn’t take their financial institution with them when they moved far away. Southwest Financial only has one branch, but video banking makes it possible to serve all Kroger employees – the grocer is its primary SEG – no matter their geographic location or where they may relocate in the future.
Serving Elderly Consumers: We’ve talked about this before, but it’s such a fantastic use of video banking it bears repeating. Elderly members with limited mobility struggle to maintain financial independence because they must rely on family members to provide transportation to a branch. Elderly consumers have adopted POPin Video Banking more than expected because it provides them with the face-to-face service they prefer, and spares them the embarrassment of feeling as though they are burdening their families by requesting rides. The app has a similar look at feel to FaceTime or Skype, which many retirees already use to communicate with family members.
Here’s something that’s not unexpected: video banking also provides exciting brand differentiation, especially because the technology is still relatively new. South Bay Credit Union CEO Jennifer Oliver said, “Right now it’s a wow factor. People think it’s cool. Down the road, I think they’ll start to think of video first rather than getting in the car and driving to us. And when that happens, that’s when we’re super-convenient.”
Busy consumers are searching for time-saving technologies in all areas of their lives, and banking is no exception. And yet, they also want personalized service. Mobile video bridges that gap between declining brick-and-mortar branches and rapidly rising digital and mobile apps. According to recent research, two-thirds of banks and credit unions anticipate offering both in-store video systems and mobile video platforms in the near future. As more of them provide mobile video capabilities, more customers will demand access to this technology — and the convenience it brings.
Written by: Gene Pranger