Many global banks have taken the decision to temporarily close their branches as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
The potential closure, or reduced operating hours, of branches will likely have been unsettling news, especially for the more vulnerable of customers, or for those who value being able to get advice and reassurance in a face-to-face setting.
Although some banks have taken steps to continue to serve their customers, including offering ‘a quiet hour’ early in the morning, others have begun to train their branch staff to deal with remote enquiries, in response to its dwindling visitor numbers.
Banks that have undergone their digital transformation in order to offer the same customer experience across all their channels (branch, online, telephony) are now, more than ever, able to add real value to their customers, and differentiate themselves in the market.
As the coronavirus is causing increasing numbers of customers to avoid their branches, offering customer-centric remote solutions is no longer simply about offering another option, it has become a necessity.
In 2018, data firm, CACI, predicted that by 2021, mobile banking would become more popular than high street banking. The rise in use of internet banking, mobile banking, and banking apps have all added extra pressure on the branch, and the current pandemic is only likely to expedite the need for banks to offer remote banking solutions.
The problem, however, is that branches still clearly fill a need – in fact, between 30-60% of customers from digitally-advanced nations, still prefer doing some of their banking in branches. From so-called security-seekers to the more tech-savvy, two of the main reasons people visit bank branches is to either get face-to-face advice or information on complex products.
As visiting branches is no longer an option for many customers, banks need to be able to offer a trustworthy alternative that allows the customer and the bank advisor to do everything they could once do in the branch, but at home.
Online banking, through self-service portals, is already the preferred channel for simple transactions, such as account checking or funds transfers. For more complicated processes, or for services where customers require reassurance, however, banks need to be bold and willing to experiment with technology to offer better, more visual and engaging customer experiences.
With Vizolution technology, complicated customer journeys, like mortgage applications, can be completed wherever and whenever the customer wants. Through an innovative combination of remote channels (telephony and online), customers and agents can talk to one another, while still being able to share, display, exchange, complete, verify and sign documents as if they were face to face.
In these uncertain times, where people are advised to practice social distancing or self-isolate, technology can be used to replicate the benefits of a branch or instore experience and act as a much-needed bridge between the customer and the business.
If you would like to find out more about remote banking, and how our solutions can help your enterprise offer the qualities of a face-to-face interaction in remote channels, visit: