Written by: Scott Fieber
As someone who got his initial start in banking with uGenius Technology, the inventor of video banking, I have been all for the impact of video banking on the financial industry. But video banking isn’t what you think it is – and it definitely isn’t what it used to be. Sure, Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) have come a long way in a decade. ITMs have been a key piece of technology that enabled community financial institutions to compete with the major banks. They have enabled community financial institutions to scale and grow for a fraction of the cost of other methods. They have allowed these community financial institutions to keep their major differentiating factor of close, personal touch true through engaging video interactions, all while allowing them to further differentiate themselves from the major banks. For years, ITMs have proven this differentiation through true retail delivery like extended hours, one-stop transaction completion, and convenient locations without the need to spend millions on traditional branches.
You might be thinking that these are all great reasons why video banking is awesome, or that this is exactly what you thought video banking is. If so, then you were right in 2015. Video banking is no longer just ITMs, it is so much more! Let me explain.
Is banking just performing transactions? Is banking as simple as cashing a payroll check? Of course not! We all know there is so much more to it. So, if we are going to have a true video banking strategy, then it has to encompass far more than teller transactions. It is no fault of uGenius Technology that at the time that was the only thing available, and thanks to infrastructure and technology advances over the last few years, we can now further our video banking strategy. Let’s review two additional video strategies that I can’t help but love.
My personal favorite addition to the video banking technology suite is video surveillance. Yup, your camera system in your branches. Did you know that even if you haven’t touched your cameras in so long that they are recording in black and white, you can still gather detailed analytics to improve your banking experience for members and employees? With the right software, you can now leverage your surveillance system for more than just something that will show you video footage of an event after the fact. Now retail, marketing, operations, and compliance can all get something out of your video system.
Today video surveillance can track how many people are coming in and out of your branch and which direction they are going. How powerful would that information be in helping to staff and place relevant marketing material? You can automatically send a heatmap report to your cleaning company so they can focus on high traffic areas and better utilize hard-to-find cleaning materials. You can pull key demographic information to better understand who is visiting your branch and how impactful your marketing is inside the branch. How long are people standing in front of your ad and what is their reaction to it? All is possible through your video surveillance if you have the right software and partner to help guide you. I like to ask the question, where do you wish you had eyes but can’t afford to put bodies? Answer that question with a camera and software that is capable of doing this, and you have your eyes! Over the past several years, the addition of AI and machine learning has reduced the touchpoints on your systems by avoiding constant configurations and adjustments. These tools learn and continue to adapt over time as more and more data is stored. Video surveillance can even help in notifying your staff when members arrive for their appointment by either reading a license plate or sending you a notification to your PC or phone when they are parked in your parking lot. The possibilities are virtually endless. My bet is after an open-minded meeting with all departments of your financial institution on how to better leverage video, you’ll find a dozen or more use cases that can be implemented quickly without much capital investment.
The second addition to the video banking technology team is digital collaboration. I’m not talking video calls or FaceTime, I’m talking collaboration. How can I truly take over the experience for the end-user? You are seeing a handful of companies pop up lately in this space and it is going to continue to grow. Financial institutions are here to make you money and themselves money. That happens through strategic conversations with your members. We have all been on enough conference calls this past year to know that when something is done through video, the impact is leaps and bounds greater than if it was done without video. If you are still having your poor mortgage officer or head lender bounce back and forth between branches every day, now is the time to stop. Get some video collaboration software in place to help produce loans, provide advice and collaborate around your financial needs. Be ready anytime, anywhere the member needs you to be. Without video, that goal is impossible to reach and financially irresponsible. I am not saying that all interactions should be over video and there is a time and a place for everything. I do know, however, after working with hundreds of financial institutions over the years, that there is a place for video collaboration within your financial institution.
The greatest thing about the financial industry in America is that each financial institution is different. Those differences call for dedicated strategies. What works for your peer down the road doesn’t always fit you. Find an agnostic provider and consultant that can help walk you through your video banking strategy. Your customers and employees will thank you for it.
Scott’s article can be also be found on the Credit Union Times Website
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