Article

Adapting to COVID-19 With Video Banking

Young businesswoman takes notes while listening to headphones and watching laptop screen
By Dr. David L. Tuyo, DBA, CSME, CCE

4 minutes

After the rush to implement this new technology, CUs are likely to realize long-term benefits for members and staff.

Video banking has been on many financial institution’s technology roadmaps for years. As it has with many initiatives, COVID-19 has increased the speed of adoption to better serve members in the new contactless environment. Financial institutions are realizing video banking for their customers can help position their organization as innovative. According to Popi/o, 51% of video banking calls result in new account and loan opportunities. However, there have been a few persistent challenges, such as slow consumer adoption, which have prevented the widespread adoption of the technology. Of course, this has all changed very rapidly.

Potential risks introduced by COVID-19 caused retail delivery models via branches to adapt and modify their daily process to accommodate public health and safety measures. From appointment banking and restricted hours to drive-thru only, from telephonic banking to digital banking­—the traditional branch model presented many challenges that needed to be overcome.

These conditions have created the perfect environment for the accelerated adoption of video banking by credit unions and their members as a safe and effective replacement for more traditional in-person banking services.

Typically, 85% of online video banking users are willing to use it again, which is a positive indicator that this “forced” increase in exposure of video banking will likely signal the future evolution of the industry as people become more accustomed to using it for their daily banking requirements.

How Do Members Like to Use Video Banking?

Credit union members are using video banking for all kinds of daily transactions, and they are usually responding to it in a very positive way with a high volume of recurring activity after initial sessions.

Members seem to find it most useful for such services as bank wires, general account research and discussion of options, loan inquiries, and for assistance with navigating online and mobile banking.

Video banking truly shines where face-to-face interaction is desired by members, and this is most suited to informational support for members who may have more than one question related to a service. Simple and more common transactions such as deposit or transfers are more easily accomplished through online banking, but since the rollout of social distancing measures, video banking is demonstrating itself as an appealing option for members who need more nuanced support.

Does Video Banking Provide Better member Service?

Most members who try video banking have a positive experience overall and are very eager to use it again in replacement of other channels of customer support.

Many CUs have seen a moderate shift from call center transactions to video banking support, particularly when there are long wait times for phone support or a spike in the volume of incoming calls.

During the first months of the quarantine period, many CUs experienced an increase in video banking from members who wanted to ask face-to-face questions regarding their accounts and the availability of service that would be provided by their financial institution. This has led to an increase in returning member activity through video banking and is a strong indicator that members prefer the level of customer service that is facilitated through this method of communication.

In the absence of physical branch locations, video banking is starting to show itself as the preferred method of support, likely because it is the most similar channel of support to a face-to-face interaction that can be provided.

Is Video Banking the Future for CUs?

Beyond the positive impact of video banking on members, there is one key element that needs to be understood as a driving force for this adaptation within the industry­—public health and safety.

This is true not just for members but for staff as well. Video banking is a simple solution that is very compatible with the precautions necessary to quell the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a solution that puts the safety of CU staff and members first, without sacrificing the quality of service that can be provided, as demonstrated by the highly positive reaction to the technology.

While this will likely remain a driving force for the industry in the short term, it also begins to open up questions for the long-term evolution of providing banking services.

Video banking provides freedom and convenience to both staff and members. Everyone can save time and energy by connecting with their financial services from anywhere in the world. It’s extremely effective and ultimately relies on technology that is already commonly available and simple to implement.

While credit unions may rush towards video banking in response to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, it is very likely that these types of financial institutions will continue this path forward due to the auxiliary benefits that it offers to members and staff.cues icon

CUES member Dr. David L. Tuyo, DBA, CSME, CCE, is president/CEO of $750 million University Credit Union, Los Angeles, and a veteran of the financial services industry where he has served in a multitude of roles, including COO, CFO and chief investment officer. His career in the industry spans more than 20 years, with the majority dedicated to credit unions.

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