Sheila McGee-Smith
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the...
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Sheila McGee-Smith | December 15, 2016 |


Royal Bank of Canada Deploys Video Banking 2.0

Royal Bank of Canada Deploys Video Banking 2.0 Video banking moves from room-based systems at local branches to customer computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

Video banking moves from room-based systems at local branches to customer computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) this week announced that its business clients can now connect face to face with their personal bankers through video calls on computers, tablets, or mobile devices. RBC, the largest bank in Canada with a presence in every province and 80,000 employees worldwide, reports that it is the country's first bank to provide remote video banking.

Video banking started being a "thing" about five years ago, typically targeted at clients with high net worth. With the theory that such customers require specialist banking advice and expert-level services, banks began installing room-based video systems at branches to connect customers to experts located remotely. These services delivered a quality video experience, but were often quite expensive to deploy and typically required a customer to come to a bank location.

A few attributes of the RBC video service, which relies on embedded video technology from Vidyo and a contact center solution from Genesys, differentiate it from the first generation of video banking. RBC's Claude DeMone, VP of business enablement, highlighted those for me in an interview early this week.

  • RBC began its rollout with small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers. This group is "very time-starved and operates business at all hours. At times, it can be a challenge for them to come to the branch. By offering video, we can bring the bank to our customers in a very convenient way," DeMone told me when I asked why RBC started with SMB customers.

  • RBC offers video banking through computer, tablet, or mobile device -- very different from a room system. One or two years ago, companies would start video deployment with a PC application, and perhaps add mobile later, said Eran Westman, president and CEO of Vidyo. "For RBC, it was important to have mobile available as they launched the service."

  • RBC wanted its video solution to work seamlessly with its Genesys contact center software so that contact center advisors would be able to easily offer video calling to customers when they thought it appropriate. This is different from room-based systems, which typically would be reserved by appointment only. Genesys and Vidyo were able to supply the necessary tight contact center integration.

  • As seen in the screen capture below, all of the omni-channel capabilities of the contact center become available during an RBC video banking call. Not only can the agent and customer see one another, but the agent is able to share the customer's screen and annotate important areas.

RBC today offers video interactions from two of its contact centers with a specific team of agents who have received video certification training. RBC can offer a video option to customers who call into the contact center; the agent sends a link to the customer to begin the video. Based on the success of the program (too soon yet to measure), RBC will offer video banking not only to additional customer segments but also to branch employees who want to interact with customers, DeMone said

I asked DeMone what the driver was behind implementing the video service -- was it to display technical or thought leadership, a result of customer demand? "All of the above," he responded. "One of the things that is really important to us is convenience for our customers."

RBC is clearly focused on developing relationships with its customers. For customers who can't make it into their branches, the video option is not only convenient but likely will improve customer satisfaction by providing a more personalized interaction.

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