When we think of financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, we think secure vaults, imposing headquarters and professionals in dark business suits. We rarely associate such an old, established and respectable industry with technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, because there seems to be no way they can be of help in a world dealing with money.
The New Financial Paradigm: Augmented and Virtual Reality Transform the Industry
Yet, if we come to think of it, we rarely deal with physical money anymore. All our money is virtual: stored on cards, online accounts and even on our mobile phones. So, why wouldn’t the industry itself turn to AR and VR to improve its core processes?
In fact, this step has already been made by many high-level banking and financial institutions. They understood that they needed to adapt to the new world and to their customers’ demands. Once they started developing augmented and virtual reality applications for end clients, financial institutions realized that they can also benefit from this technology in their internal processes and operations, as well.
Here are some ways different financial institutions are implementing augmented and virtual reality:
1. Big Data Visualization at Citibank
Big data is such a large concept that we have trouble understanding it per se. Imagine how hard it is actually working with big data and making critical decisions based on it.
Citibank understood that there must be a way to handle such a huge amount of data in a coherent manner and made use of the latest technologies—more precisely it implemented Microsoft HoloLens in its workstations.
This new workstation concept allows bank employees to visualize holographic 3D models of data, interact with them and have more confidence in decision making. Here is how it works:
2. Augmented Reality Banking from Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has decided to allow its customers to solve the majority of banking issues which involve interaction with a bank teller in a holographic environment built on augmented reality.
The holographic space is not designated only for doing business, but also for creating stronger relationships with the customers, through gamified experiences and an easy to understand graphic presentation of financial data.
The financial institution is also adding virtual reality to its overall customer experience. Jennifer Copeland, Vice President and Experiential Marketing Manager for Wells Fargo stated for American Banker that this new approach is meant to “show we are part of the community. There’s more to us than financial products. We are able to show you a good time.”
3. Stock Portfolio Management Assisted by Virtual Adviser
Fidelity Labs, the research and development division of Fidelity Investments, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, collaborated with Amazon to offer its clients a simpler, safer and more comfortable way of managing their portfolio of stocks and shares. They just have to put on the VR headset and access the virtual reality application named Cora’s Virtual Chart Room. Built on Amazon Sumerian, Cora is a friendly, competent and helpful virtual adviser who shows each client how well their portfolio performs, as well as opportunities to buy or sell stocks depending on the market trends.
Developed in May 2018, the application is still in its demo phase, but very soon Fidelity’s customers will be able to access Cora’s professional advice and manage their stocks in a modern and interactive manner.
4. Financial Education in a Virtual Environment by GTE Financial
GTE Financial is one of the largest credit unions in Florida. Recently, the financial institution decided to create a user friendly environment in 3D, where potential customers can learn the ins and outs of lending, financial products and the short, medium and long term impacts of opening a credit line.
The platform is called GTE 3D and it is unlike anything one would expect from a financial institution: it uses music, vivid colors and a very modern design to attract visitors and help them feel at ease and ready to experiment and learn.
5. Virtual Reality Banking and Real Estate from BNP Paribas
Internet and mobile banking have become a daily reality for years, but BNP Paribas has decided to take the concept one step further. They are offering their customer a variety of virtual reality-based services, helping them in their account management and decision-making.
Some of the VR solutions also include an app which gives its customers the opportunity to follow through the various steps of a real estate purchase in virtual reality mode, as well as “le POD”, a ‘teleportation’ capsule developed by BNP Paribas Real Estate, which enables prospective buyers to port themselves inside a new apartment or building and view it in 3D and 360°.
These examples show that new technologies are getting a foothold in all industries – including the financial world. As the world becomes more and more connected in the online environment, the role of augmented and virtual reality will increase in the banking industry. Private and corporate clients will be able to have their own private and secure environment where they manage their money and investments and perform regular transactions in a holographic environment which replicates the real-life one to perfection.