Banking gets Augmented Reality lift

By Author   |   Published: 13th Nov 2017   12:00 am Updated: 13th Nov 2017   1:39 am
Augmented Reality
Photo: Pixabay.com

Indian banks have woken up to a new reality: customer journeys are the holy grail of profitable banking. They are deploying various technologies to engage and educate their customers with the hope of turning them into happy and loyal consumers. In doing so, they have just about started investing in Augmented Reality for providing cutting edge service to their customers.

What is Augmented Reality ?

 Take the case of live traffic display layered on physical maps. Or, the case of score information layered on a live video feed of a sporting event. Imagine your interior designer showing you all the virtual permutations and combinations of your wall colours and art placements. If you did, you have experienced Augmented Reality. It is nothing but a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, haptics or GPS data. How are banks optimize technology? 

Banks are weaving all the cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality into their service models leading to a much more contextual, profitable and efficient customer service. There has been much debate over chatbots replacing customer service and robo-advisors replacing your friendly relationship manager. Similarly, with Augmented Reality having the potential to bring your banking into the comfort of your living spaces, there’s a lot of buzz around the reducing the brick-and-mortar presence of banks, namely, bank branches.

How are banks using Augmented Reality according to Financialbrand 

1) Creating branch/ATM locators : Banks are creating AR apps that a consumer can use while on the move to locate the nearest branches and ATMs of the bank. On his smartphone screen, he is shown the distance and opening/closing hours, while also allowing them to book an appointment at a suitable time. 

2) Real estate details app : Potential home buyers can use the real estate app offered by the bank to go through the details of the real estate properties that they are passing by. It can also be used to display any mortgaging possibilities along with a 3D interior view of the homes. 

3) Trading preferences simulator : Citibank addresses traders’ most painful experiences such as navigating through windows and tabs, prioritizing data, recognizing critical market changes, and collaborating with clients. 

4) Replacing Video conferencing : Until now, banks hoped to interact with more consumers by being available for a face-to-face interaction through video conferencing. After all, they are in a business where trust is the most important currency of the trade. Now, a headset or projection device could project augmented reality or visual holograms onto physical space, such as a home, office or any customer defined space. 

5) Multiple service locator : Axis bank has recently released an Augmented Reality app that the consumer can use to browse through a list of available services while on the move. Interestingly, these services go beyond those in the purview of banking services – they include details of restaurants, properties, shopping centres over and above those of bank ATMs and branches.

What’s the way forward for Augmented Reality? 

In many countries, the millennial generation enjoys the services of a bank without having visited the bank’s branch even once. In India, things are slightly different. But if you take cases like Axis bank, it is obvious that banks are adopting new technologies in a way that they fit their expansion strategies. As millennials form a significant portion of the consumption class, banks that are having an ear to the ground are going down the millennial rabbit hole to create profitable interactions. So, anything that serves the millennials better serves the purposes of banks better!