From USA to Italy, savings and investment advice comes via the web through video conferencing. The experiences of Bank of America and BCC of Pontassieve.
When it comes to investing its savings in funds and other financial products, the fate is not a solution for everyone. If the Internet today allows you to invest online and move large sums of money with just a few clicks, for most savers an expert’s guidance is always needed. Assessing the risks and opportunities of an investment and estimating possible short or long-term earnings requires industry knowledge and analytical skills.
The turn of the Bank of America
Today, thanks to secure video conferencing, the consultant can come to our house for a moment without having to go to the bank. For over a year, Bank of America allows its customers to meet with their experts via the web through a video call. The service is primarily designed for individuals who want to make their savings, for small and medium-sized businesses and for those who want to make a mortgage. There are about 500 Bank of America branches that have conference call systems to assist customers wherever they are.
High definition consultancy
“Customer behavior towards technology is changing. Transactions and services migrate to other channels, but savers still prefer buying financial products with the help of a consultant. In many cases, you need an expert who explains in detail the advantages and risks of a certain investment, “explains Tyler Johnson, vice president of Bank of America. Data confirms this: Approximately 85% of Bank of America’s financial products are sold to customers who go home. However, the fact remains that in some locations the demand for certain products is not high enough to make the presence of a specialist in the offices convenient to talk face to face with savers. For less complex financial transactions, the Bank of America offers the possibility to connect remotely via a high resolution business video conferencing.
The pilot project
The US credit institution has installed videoconferencing systems in about 10% of its subsidiaries at the end of a two year pilot project. The first tests took place in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to facilitate customer meetings with mortgage experts and financial advisers. Given the good results, management has decided to take free group video conferencing.
Italy: Pontassieve BCC inaugurates “Bank Point”
Even in Italy, the banking universe has realized that video conference services can be a strategic asset. They quickly understood it at Pontassieve’s Cooperative Credit Bank, which inaugurated for a few days “Point to Bank”. In three locations in the Valdisieve County, Londa and Santa Brigida, a consultant connected to videoconferencing is available to customers from Monday to Friday, as well as to advise those who decide to invest.
How does the service work?
Users can go to the “Banking Point” and sign up for documents, pick up checkbooks, bank cards and credit cards at the same opening hours as they can be contacted quickly and easily by the videoconferencing consultant. In a sense, it is as if the bank opened up new branches at a reduced cost, meeting users. Even those of smaller centers, thus keeping the living territory. “It’s a really innovative service: you just need to play a bell and you’ll immediately appear as a consultant in a soundproof and confidential environment. The service is available at the opening hours of traditional agencies, “explains Francesco Faraoni, General Manager of BCC. “To help users for a month, a host will also be available that will further explain how the service works.”
Safety and quality
The spread of videoconferencing in a world of diffident tradition in the face of innovations such as banking shows that professional services have now reached a high level of security and quality. That is why today it is possible to deal with delicate issues, such as decisions about their savings.