News Release

Cisco Study: Consumers Want Banks to Offer More Personalized Access to Financial Services

Cisco Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail Banking Improves Customer Experience by Connecting Financial Services Advisers with Customers, "On-demand"
Jun 20, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 20, 2012 – Cisco today announced findings from the Cisco IBSG Omnichannel Banking Study of 5,300 consumers in five developed countries (Canada, France, Germany, U.S. and U.K.) and three emerging countries (Brazil, China and Mexico).  The study shows consumers want banks to deliver financial advice and banking services through both virtual and physical channels, ushering in a new era of omnichannel banking that provides customers with services in a manner most convenient and personalized to their needs.

To address the omnichannel banking trend, Cisco also announced the Cisco® Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail Banking , which helps enable virtual face-to-face meetings via high-definition video between customers and specialty lending, wealth management and other types of banking advisers -- from any bank branch, in real time. Cisco Remote Expert for Retail Banking helps enable banks to maximize the efficiency and productivity of financial services advisers so they can capture customer business at first contact, providing the personalized customer service the customer desires.

Banks are operating in a challenging environment of rapid economic change, more technology-savvy customers, thinner margins and increasing regulations.  Many banks are looking to adopt an omnichannel banking strategy to optimize their retail channels based on customers' preferences to offer more personalized financial services.

The Cisco Omnichannel Study was designed to discover consumers' attitudes and preferences towards different channels, both physical (in person at a bank branch) and virtual (mobile, online, video conference, social media, etc.).  The study also recommends strategies for banks to implement that will drive profitability and increase customer satisfaction. The research included the testing of several innovative banking concepts that address alternatives within the branch model and new strategies for virtual models.

Omnichannel Research Highlights

  • Despite the popularity of virtual banking, global consumers still value bank branches for personal attention and favor expanded services that include different kinds of financial advice – creating opportunity for the omnichannel branch.
    • Consumers globally rejected the idea of highly automated branches with limited personal attention and expertise, with 26% consumers saying they would leave their current bank if personal attention and advice were eliminated from their bank branch.
    • 65% of respondents globally (56% in developed countries and 81% in emerging countries) would be in favor of bank branches that offered an expanded portfolio of financial and advisory services (financial education, legal, accounting, tax, and insurance).
    • Overall, consumers want to use all the options available to them across physical and virtual channels. Frequent users of virtual channels also visit branches more frequently, with 30% of users of virtual banking channels also being frequent branch visitors (2+ visits per month).
    • 45% of consumers strongly favor a total virtual banking alternative over one where they'd use highly automated branches with limited advice or personal attention (23%).
  • Consumers' views on other omnichannel banking reveal preferences for service specialization by channel and vary by region:
    • Internet: 78% of consumers in developed markets and 72% of consumers in emerging markets prefer to use bank Web applications for paying bills, managing accounts, checking balances, and other basic transactions.
    • Mobile: 13% of consumers in developed markets and 18% of consumers in emerging markets prefer to use mobile banking applications for real-time expense tracking, personal finance management (PFM) and payments.
    • Video: 23% of consumers in developed markets and 43% of consumers in emerging markets saw the use of video conferencing as a way to enhance the quality of advice in situations where the access to quality expertise is a concern.
    • Social: Only 1% of consumers in developed markets and 8% in emerging markets indicated a preference to use the social media channel for conducting banking transactions.
  • Consumers' concerns in protecting personal information could be a roadblock to quick adoption of omnichannel banking.
    • Significant concerns about privacy, security and identity theft was prevalent among consumers in both developed markets (65%) and emerging countries (53%).
    • 42% of consumers consider banks to be the most trusted stewards of their digital information, ahead of the government (19%), telecommunications companies (6%) and social media sites (4%).
    • An "opt-in" approach could remove roadblocks:  29% of consumers oppose giving complete access to personal information for value propositions; however, they will share personal information in an opt-in basis.

Cisco Remote Expert for Retail Banking Highlights

  • The Cisco Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail Banking delivers a high-quality face-to-face meeting experience using Cisco's enterprise-class video and collaboration product portfolio to address the customers' desire to get more personal advice from financial service advisers (in loans, wealth management, etc.) as they walk into a bank branch.
  • With a simple click of a button, bank employees can easily initiate a video and collaboration session with a financial adviser for a customer visiting a bank branch. The ability to respond quickly to customers' questions helps banks generate positive net returns by reducing customer attrition,  reducing revenue leakage, and capturing branch revenue.
  • The Cisco solution is highly scalable to connect customers sitting in thousands of bank branches with hundreds of financial service advisers located in banking centers, branches, contact centers, and virtual workspaces -- improving the financial service advisers' productivity when advising customers.
  • Cisco Remote Expert for Retail Banking integrates with third-party software, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Information File (CIF) systems, so the financial service advisers can quickly use customer information to deliver more personalized service.
  • The Cisco solution supports third-party hardware such as card readers, multipurpose printers and scanners, and signature pads, so remote financial services advisers can complete applications, obtain signatures, and close business.
  • Cisco Remote Expert for Retail Banking allows the audio recording of meetings along with archival and retrieval capabilities to support regulatory and internal compliance requirements.
  • Cisco is also working with strategic partners to help banks tailor Remote Expert to their specific banking processes and banking applications, which yields faster deployments and visible business benefits for the customer.
  • Cisco Smart Solutions are pre-integrated, fully validated solutions supported by Cisco Services and Cisco partners.  Cisco's Smart Solution strategy enables customers to confidently deploy a complex technology solution to address an immediate business opportunity without the added risk of building and validating an IT solution in-house.

Supporting Quotes: 

  • Paul Mountford, senior vice president, Global Enterprises, Cisco

"As banks around the world evolve their business models for delivering personalized service, Cisco has expanded the Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail Banking to focus on ease of use, scalability, and a high-touch experience.  Cisco Remote Expert for Retail Banking offers an omnichannel environment where customers and financial service advisers can easily meet virtually while still maintaining the experience and efficacy of an in-person meeting."

  • Jorgen Ericsson, vice president, Global Financial Services Practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

"Banking is transforming rapidly, driven by changes in regulations, macroeconomic pressures, new customer demands, technology advancements and increased competition. A fundamentally new approach to banking is needed with an emphasis on a combination of both improving customer experience and simultaneously reducing costs. Our study shows that customers are ready for a new era, and the solution will be omnichannel banking."

  • Paul Dilda, Head of North America Branch Channels, Bank of Montreal

"We want to bring the best of BMO Bank of Montreal to every interaction with our customers, and providing remote access to our financial experts and advisors via our free video conferencing solution is a natural extension of that. The progression of our industry means that customers no longer consider banking to be single-channel. They expect more control over how and when they choose to access our services, including financial experts and advice. That is why we have delivered our remote experts via video to more than 120 branches, offices and call centers across Canada and the United States, reflecting BMO's goal of providing a great customer experience and positioning ourselves as one of Canada's banking leaders."

  • Theresa McLaughlin, Group Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBS Citizens Financial Group

"We know that convenience and access to information is important to our customers, so we partnered with Cisco to deploy our Video Banking pilot program in 17 branches located in four retail markets. This unique technology has allowed us to create a customer experience where our remote mortgage and wealth management specialists are available to deliver services to customers at their convenience."

Additional Resources:


*Editor's Note: Cisco welcomes press, analysts, bloggers, and other interested parties to use and reference our Cisco research with proper attribution, such as "Source: Cisco Omnichannel Study: Winning Strategies for Omni-Channel Banking, June 2012."

Tags/Keywords: Cisco, IBSG, omnichannel, retail banking, financial institutions, remote expert, financial service advisors, financial services, telepresence, collaboration

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