RBC Rolls Out Video Banking in Canada

RBC Rolls Out Video Banking in Canada

By Dave Michels December 13, 2016 3 Comments
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RBC Rolls Out Video Banking in Canada by Dave Michels

Royal Bank (RBC), Canada’s largest bank, is implementing remote video banking to make it easier for its business clients to make banking modern. It sounds trivial, but integrating communications into digital and mobile workflow is significant.

I regularly get queried on the latest and greatest technology trends in enterprise communications. Despite all the hype about chatbots and artificial intelligence, what I find most effective is simplification – the act of making business easier to do – including interaction.

Few industries have experienced as much disruption as the banking industry. I used to go to my bank regularly to get money, deposit money, manage accounts, order checks, and even get paperwork notarized. I used to know the name of the branch manager as well as most of the tellers. Today, I rarely go to the bank, and don’t know any of the branch employee names. Based on the empty parking lots in front of the banks I think most of us are skipping branch visits.

The banking industry has experienced significant digitalization. Sometimes referred as digital transformation, this refers to the use of technology to streamline business processes. In banking we have seen automated payments, simplified money transfers, online check ordering, and mobile photos for check deposits. Bits are much easier to manage, streamline, move, and analyze than physical goods. Unfortunately, too often the customer relationship gets lost in the shuffle.

There’s really very little reason to go to a bank branch any more. Most of the money goes in and out electronically. The credit card or mobile payment has replaced the need for most checks, and the majority of remaining checks are also processed electronically via online services such as Bill Pay.

RBC is taking action to rebuild face-to-face customer interactions with video banking. They have a limited deployment, but have plans to expand it to broader services. RBC is actually the first Canadian bank to offer remote video banking.

Banks are known for hiding from customers. They observe holidays like no other industry, keep short “banker’s hours,” and build inane phone trees. I’ve seen some banks introduce video in the branch, but that never made much sense to me.

RBC has a 24/7 contact center which appears to be bucking the “make customer interactions hard” trend. Despite the widespread talk of the importance of customer experience, I keep seeing evidence of the contrary. For example, emails from “DoNotReply” are a subtle form of “Talk to the Hand.” Too often our loyalty is based on the inconvenience of switching rather than the old school, delightful experience. Now RBC is taking the next step by complementing its service center with video.

Video is a reasonably obvious extension of what’s becoming a mobile-first customer relationship. Considering the ubiquity of broadband networks, browser-friendly video, and the fact that every single smartphone, tablet, laptop, and most PC desktops now have a video camera - why not use video? A face beats an auto attendant any day. RBC gets credit for being first in Canada, but realistically why isn’t this a standard (banking) practice?

RBC used technology from Vidyo embedded into its existing Genesys-powered contact center. The powerful combination is a result of the Genesys AppFoundry program created in 2015. Vidyo was recently recognized as Partner of the Year at the annual Genesys customer conference last October. The program will benefit Genesys, Vidyo, and RBC’s 16 million customers.

I’d like to say video interactions will soon be widespread, but I’ve been saying that for years. So instead I will celebrate one victory at a time. Here’s looking at you, RBC.



3 Responses to "RBC Rolls Out Video Banking in Canada" - Add Yours

Alexander Anoshin 12/13/2016 9:21:35 PM

Great post, Dave.

From my perspecitve video slowly but surely blazes the path towards its adoption in customer service.

Here are the figures taken from the 2015 report by Dimension Data:
8% of contact centers already manage the video chat channel,
15% plan to deploy it within 12 months.

But the same report of 2016 year indicates that 11% of contact centers offer video chat to its clients - http://richcall.io/2016/09/27/video-chat-in-2016-contact-centre-report-by-dimension-data/

Seems like only 1/5 of those who planned to use the video actually deployed it - slowly but surely.
Roberta J. Fox 12/14/2016 8:32:41 AM

Good commentary on video banking Dave! I remember doing a prototype project of video ATMs in 1997 with Citibank that would have been used for wealth management portfolio to enable clients to 'chat' with their dedicated investment banker. The technology worked relatively well, but the staff and clients just weren't ready for it.

We use 5 different video/collab apps on a daily basis for internal and external client work at FOX GROUP, and can't image running my business without it! It does drive the need for changes on the data networks, computers and devices, but the benefits in productivity, customer satisfaction and efficiency are well worth it!

Think this is the last bastian of holdoffs in technology migrations from consumer to corporate, but once critical mass and competitive pressures kick in, the tipping point will be fast and furious. (as long as folks properly design and scale all of their network elements properly!).
Nicolas De Kouchkovsky 12/16/2016 3:49:53 PM

I couldn't agree more on your comment regarding simplicity. Complexity has indeed been plaguing the industry and I am seeing less and less tolerance for it.

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