The emergence of innovative new solutions such as video banking are not only set to change the way clients interact with their banks, but also enhance in-branch experience enabled through a choice of channels.

With more than one-fifth of consumers using video banking in Australia on a daily basis, it is fast becoming the preferred method of banking for many Australians.

In South Africa, the growth of video banking is in line with other countries that experience similar geographical and practical challenges of reaching a client base.

A new video banking facility, forming part of Nedbank’s “branch of the future” enables face-to-face interactions with client service agents.

A Celent report titled Video banking: lights, camera and transaction?, published in 2013, revealed that the use of video chat is fast gaining popularity among the American youth, with 64% of 18 to 29 year olds saying they make use of the facility. The report notes that one of the most compelling reasons to consider video banking is client engagement.

Video banking was first piloted in bank branches in the early 2000 in the UK. Since then, there has been a renewed wave of various forms of video banking across the world, stimulated by great improvements in technology.

Michelle Van Staden: executive of lean, strategy and sustainability at Nedbank, says video banking has seen a significant uptake with over 30% clients choosing to utilise the facility.

“We are particularly humbled by the positive feedback we have been receiving from clients thus far. The uptake has been phenomenal, with some branches having seen as much as 60% of enquiries moving to video banking.

“Video banking enables the bank to forge new client connections while also building enduring relationships. Furthermore, it provides us with valuable insight into client needs as well as informing our client centred approach through our staff who bring the bank’s vision to life in their daily interactions with clients.

“We believe that clients are no longer just looking to do banking; they are looking to do banking in a unique, convenient environment where all their needs are met. As such we continue to invest in innovation and technological advancements to ensure we continue to deliver a choice of distinctive banking experiences and channels of choice,’ says Van Staden.

Nedbank states that on-going investment in innovative technology use not only serves to enhance the traditional bank branch but also drives rich collaborative client experience while reducing queue times which recorded more than 30% improvement – with more than 80% clients stating they were happy with their waiting experience.

Nedbank has invested more than R2,1-billion in its “branch of the future” roll-out to over 70% of its branch network in the next five years.