In Focus
RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Expect more Asian banks to launch video teller machines

Video banking will play an important role in the bank branch of the future.

If Singaporeans were wondering whether the new DBS/POSB video teller machines (VTMs) in Rivervale Plaza and Tampines Hub were an eye-catching but fleeting fad, they might be in for a pleasant surprise. More Asian banks should roll out their own VTMs, according to industry observers, as they strive to serve more customers without having to set up expensive branches.

DBS/POSB launched the first VTMs in Singapore last April across nine locations. Customers can step into a VTM to apply for and get debit cards, do balance enquiries, as well as obtain internet banking tokens on the spot. They have the option to receive virtual teller assistance via live-video streaming

Jeremy Soo, managing director and head of consumer banking group (Singapore) at DBS Bank says that aside from the convenience of virtual assistance, their new VTMs provide convenience through round-the-clock branch banking services. Customer service officers are available as an option via live-video daily from 8:30AM to midnight.

Similarly, Standard Chartered has also rolled out video banking initiatives in Asian markets since last year, most recently expanding to Kenya and UAE.

Video banking will play an important role in the bank branch of the future especially in reducing labour costs, improving branch profitability and maintaining stronger customer relationships, says Daniel Dawson, an analyst at RBR and a lead author of the report titled “Teller Automation and Branch Transformations 2017.”

The report says banks are turning to terminals offering remote video transactions as part of their branch transformation strategies. Video banking will empower small branches to offer transactions which were previously only possible in a more traditional branch environment with multiple tellers. Meanwhile, larger branches will benefit from migrating many transactions from the teller to terminals – as seen in the intelligent Teller Machines or iTMs deployed by China’s Bank of Communications.

“Banks across the world are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve branch efficiency without compromising customer experience,” notes Dawson. "Customers see branches as an important part of their banking relationship, and video banking helps banks offer existing, and in some cases new services, more cost-effectively.”

Photo from DBS

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