The retail banking experience is evolving, as leading financial institutions acknowledge that customer engagement is becoming more transactional than interactive. However, while branches go digital and mobile banking accelerates, research shows that keeping the human touch in digital customer engagement — at pivotal moments that matter to the customer — can make their experience even more powerful. In fact, according to our recent video banking survey, 64% of respondents said video banking has increased customer satisfaction for their institution.

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Banks need to become more open and change their mindset, or be left behind. The phrase ‘hybrid digital’ augments digital by retaining the human factor. It integrates face-to-face communication with digital and mobile tools. Today, banking experts and customers can get things done from anywhere, and hybrid digital integration helps maintain key face-to-face relationships intelligently and seamlessly within virtually any workflow.

Financial institutions need to innovate to establish relationships with high-value customers in a digital/mobile world, and acknowledge that the future customer experience means having the bank to come to you, not the other way around. Financial institutions are turning to video collaboration to maintain the face-to-face element in their digital transformation, and ensure the continuity of their foundational core value of personal relationships into the new era.

Video integration for banks is on the rise as more institutions recognize that the integration of video collaboration into their suite of online tools is becoming more desirable due to its transparency (which is helped by co-browsing and screen-sharing in real time within the video call), as well as practical, for more customers who are on-the-go. Banks had 130,000 conversations with customers via video in 2016, and this year the predictions estimate over a 10x increase in its use — marking a turning point for the adoption of video banking.

Video collaboration is far more resource-friendly than maintaining a vast network of brick-and-mortar branches, with several institutions even launching unmanned, video-only branches that take full advantage of hybrid digital. In our survey, 62% of respondents said video banking decreased their branch workload, with 80% of respondents planning to offer video banking in the future as the demand for video-enabled contact centers increases.

Simply embracing digital elements here and there for customer engagement will not meet every customer need. For example, in the digital transformation of customer engagement for banks, there has been a push for artificial intelligence (AI) embedment, like chatbots, to create efficiency. However, research shows that customer engagement suffers with AI embedment. Customers simply are not satisfied with AI, the operative word being “artificial.” In a recent global study, 80% of customers want to chat online with a person, not a machine.

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Video collaboration, on the other hand, is both highly efficient and human. Former Barclays CEO Anthony Jenkins told CNBC that banks “have to act now, and what they really need to do is think about innovation, but also transformation, doing something radically different.” Since it deployed a video banking service using the Vidyo platform, Barclays has seen a significant jump in Net Promoter Scores (NPS), with video outperforming traditional voice.

Today, banks can use the Vidyo platform to painlessly video-enable essentially anything with a processor screen, and recreate the in-person branch experience from anywhere. Video banking has emerged as the most accessible way for customers to authentically engage with today’s leading financial brands; for a retail banking customer in the U.S, video collaboration has reduced the wait time for new loan applications from 1.5 hours down to just two minutes. For another customer, video banking has improved their cross-sales of products by 20%.

Video banking is gaining traction around the world because it keeps the human touch in digital customer experience. Click here to view our case studies and learn more about the value of video banking.