Mar 26 2020

How Video Banking Can Bolster Financial Institutions During Disaster

Whether in-store or online, video banking gives organizations the flexibility they need while delivering top-quality service.

Personal finances need constant attention, especially when disaster hits. Balancing budgets, managing accounts and saving for the future are things families work through on a weekly and monthly basis, but they become particularly important when everyday life is disrupted unexpectedly.

This is when many customers turn to their banks the most. Whether it’s a hurricane wreaking havoc on towns, an illness forcing people out of work or to work from home, or a man-made economic disaster, customers look to financial institutions to help guide them through the worst times in their lives. Unfortunately, that same disaster or illness could keep customers from getting the face-to-face financial advice they are accustomed to. 

Video banking is a tool that can allow banks to be there for their customers. In a business that’s so personal, being able to look people in the eye while serving them can put the customer at ease and build invaluable trust. Whether it’s needed in the midst of a disaster or merely more convenient, video banking can help financial institutions connect with customers wherever they may be.

Why Banks Should Be Using Video Services

Using video to communicate with customers isn’t new for banks. The industry has been experimenting with the technology for years in branches, but there has been a shift toward using it for mobile banking. Vidyo’s Video Banking Report 2018 found that mobile video banking has now pulled even with in-branch video.

According to the report, 4 out of 5 banks either already offer or plan to offer video banking. For those not offering the service, the primary reasons given are that it’s not a business priority (62 percent) or there is a lack of IT resources to implement it (40 percent).

While many banks are wading into the technology, only 15 percent of the customers surveyed say they have actually been invited to use it; only 3 percent have been able to use video banking both in-branch and online. It’s overwhelmingly popular among the customers who have tried it, with 90 percent saying they would use in-branch video banking again, and 85 percent saying they’d use online video banking again.

That satisfaction has led to direct benefits for banks, who say that video banking has increased customer satisfaction, created faster and more intimate customer service and increased the perception of organizations as innovators. Banks that use it say they’ve seen direct returns on the investment.

“We’ve seen an increase by 12 percent of the number of members that are covered using our debt protection,” Paul Yacobowsky, director of sales at Diamond Credit Union in Pennsylvania, said in the report.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Learn how machine learning helps banks improve the customer experience.

How Banks Are Using Video Services

Customers often come to bank branches for one-on-one service from employees. But for some financial institutions, particularly ones where talent is scarce, it can be difficult to find qualified staff members to give all their customers the service they crave. This can be especially true for growing banks, who may find themselves gaining customers at a faster rate than they’re able to hire employees.

This was the case for one Midwestern bank that had customers who had grown accustomed to personalized service, but also had about three dozen branches to staff.

“The bank’s customers had grown accustomed to the friendly, in-person service of a small financial institution,” wrote Justin Hester, principal inside solution architect for CDW's collaboration practice, “but as the organization grew, it couldn’t afford to staff all roles at every location — and particularly not specialized positions such as loan officers.”

Having video kiosks in branches for customers to use allowed them to keep a high level of customer service with fewer employees. Plus, the fact that the staff all worked out of one central office made recruiting for those jobs easier.

Video banking options can also bring an extra level of service to customers who are doing most of their banking remotely. Whether customers aren’t able to come into a branch or they just prefer mobile banking, video chats and other interactive solutions can bridge the gap between the service they’d get in-person and the service they get online.

In the wake of disasters, financial situations often become increasingly complex with loans, payments and other services. Having a smiling face in front of you, even on a screen, can help customers through those times and bring much-needed stability to uncertain circumstances.

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