Banking, Technology, People & Relationships

by Nik Wahlberg | February 7 2018

Everywhere we look, technology continues to expand and revolutionize how we go about living our lives. At home, at work, in our cars on the way to work. We are becoming increasingly interconnected through technology. For a long time, we've highlighted the importance of making your financial brand available to your customers and prospects in the way THEY prefer to do business for years now. If you aren't considering adopting some video chat or voice command capabilities, you should. It is the logical direction to balance the need for technological convenience with the continued desire for human interaction.

Take one-part simplicity, one-part advancement in tech and mix it with high adoption rates and FIs are starting to take notice. With a growing number of banking customers saying they transact purely digitally , it is time to start planning how to avoid falling behind the curve. There are two things we see our clients need to consider next:

  1. Voice Activated Capabilities: Amazon holds a HUGE majority of this market with Alexa, but Google is trying to catch up with the Google Home. And, Amazon has hit a home run with these speakers as it anticipated shipping 10 million of them in 2017 alone .It is estimated that 55% of U.S. households will have at least one of these devices in their home by 2022 . Their basic functions include playing music, setting lighting, checking the time and temperature, but that's not all they can or will do. Capital One, US Bank and Ally are already offering voice-activated banking services and USAA is testing their version right now. So, their customers can already check balances and pay bills using only their voice. As adoption of the speakers and usage increases, the uses for these voice activated functions will only continue to rise. Time to start planning now to be ready to offer these capabilities.
  2. Video Chat Availability: Using the ability to video chat on computers and on mobile phones continues to skyrocket. The video chat app WhatsApp has 1.2 billion worldwide active monthly users . Skype still has 300 million active monthly users . Plus, do not forget the 85.8 million active iPhone in the U.S. . Each one of these comes with the popular FaceTime video call functionality built into the device. Umpqua Bank is pioneering using video chat to allow customers to interact with their bankers . They call their app "BFF" for Best Financial Friend. Customers can get support and do non-cash transactions through their call phones. It is a hybrid approach pairing growing technological capability with personalized interactions. It is also consistent with message that banks need to continue to find was to pair best-in-class digital capabilities with personalized banker support.

Banks and companies will explore and grow both options. The Echo Show could be the start of the hybrid to these kinds of services, offering voice activated video capabilities. We could soon be saying, "Hey Alexa, can I talk to a banker." Your FI can start preparing for and leveraging these today.



All Insights