As I've reflected on my 20 years in video banking, it's been fun to see how far we've come. To highlight milestones in my video banking journey, I created this timeline. I hope you enjoy reviewing the milestones that have lead us here. Now let me welcome you to join us in the milestones to come.
Losing the Relevance of Bank Branches
The migration from branches to digital channels continues. According to a Feb. 8 report in the The Wall Street Journal, the banking industry closed 1,700 branches in the 12 months ending in June 2017, this was the largest one-year decrease ever.
Not only are branch numbers falling, but the relevance with the consumers is falling too. I'm sure you remember the day when branch location was the primary decision criteria when selecting a new bank or credit union. Now it's fallen to third place according to Novantas research (2017 Omni Channel Shopper Study). A superior digital banking experience is now number one. In a
different study (2017 Account Opening and Onboarding Benchmarketing Study) they found t
hat about one-third of all consumers prefer to open their account digitally.
Looking at all of this research, it would appear that consumers increasingly prefer digital service over face-to-face branch service.
But not so fast.
Consumers want to use digital channels and FI's need to adapt and move towards a digital first strategy. As the financial industry goes through this transition, we can learn a bit from Retail's Digital Journey.
Before we even get started, I need to clear the air. I believe it would be dishonest, disingenuous
and even misleading for me to express my opinion without you knowing what I am.
I am a millennial.
I am also a fintech executive.
I will never forget attending BAI a number of years ago. I watched a group of suits, at least 60 years old or older, discussing and hypothesizing why millennials were giving them so much trouble.
The dialogue went something like this: Millennials are lazy. Millennials are entitled. Millennials whine. Millennials have no idea what the world is or what is expected, and they avoid hard work.
No solutions. The takeaway was simply: millennials need to change. The End.
Millennials, millennials, millennials.
All financial institutions work hard to attract these young adults born between 1982 and 2000. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they number more than 83 million and are beginning to represent a significant portion of the economy.
If you want to attract millennials, you must offer top notch digital service - there's no doubt about that. But what about the rest of your customer base, which prefers face-to-face branch service?
Or do they?
Many POPin Video Banking clients have been surprised to discover the digital channel has appealed to far more customers than just millennials. Some of these markets have been downright shocking. Here are five unexpected video banking customers you could potentially serve better with video banking.
According to a new mobile banking study from Citi, 81% of U.S. consumers use their phone to manage their money at least ninedays per month. Nine out of 10 said they preferred using apps over visiting a branch, and one-third of Americans use their mobile banking app more than any other on their smartphone.
“If you don’t have a strong digital and mobile strategy, I don’t know if you’re going to be around,” said Lisa Huertas, Chief eXperience Officer at the $166 million Texas Tech Credit Union in Lubbock, Texas. “I don’t say that to be a doomsday person. Right now, today, you’ve got to be building those bridges between the physical and digital experience.”
Video provides tremendous benefits to banks and credit unions, but beware of meaningless "video science projects". By that I mean a deployment that merely proves that a team can get video to work, to see if people will use it, or to model the branch of the future.
Don't get me wrong, I get just as excited as anyone when an experiment works. However, technology is only as valuable as the business problem it solves.
I've worked with Gene Pranger for 10 years now, and our goal has always been to use video to transform the bank or credit union business. Video banking, when done right, offers much more than a Skype-like experience. It solves business problems.
In particular, video banking can substantially improve operational efficiencies and service. Here are four ways: