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Bank, Digital & Technology, Customer Experience, Credit Union

18 Reasons to Leverage Video Banking in Your Branch

A man in a blue button-up.
Marc Healy, executive director of retail and marketing
6 min read
Reading Time: 6 minutes

New tech may feel newfangled, but it only really works if it serves a specific purpose. An increasing majority of consumers want an omnichannel approach from all their favorite retailers and service providers, including their banks and credit unions. This means they expect a range of communications options, as well as the ability for service providers to access all their pertinent information from one centralized hub. Oh, and they also want personalized, human interaction.

So how can one technology deliver all of this? Enter video banking.

What Is Video Banking?

Video banking is a form of communication between a financial service provider and a customer or member using videoconferencing technology. This interaction often takes place via an interactive teller machine, or ITM, a kiosk technology that’s popping up in more and more banks and credit unions by the month. Mobile app or online banking users can also interact with service providers over video via their smartphone, tablet, or computer, and some financial institutions will provide countertop tablets to save on in-branch floor space.

The video banking interface provides a way for the customer and service provider to see and hear one another, adding a layer of context to the standard customer service phone call. If accessing video technology from an ITM, the user can complete standard transactions while receiving personalized, nuanced financial advice and support, all without changing locations.

ITM kiosks often come equipped with:

  • A two-way video camera
  • A headset with a microphone (or a microphone and a speaker)
  • A display screen (touchscreen or static)
  • A video conferencing app that integrates all elements, as well as allows the employee to access customer data

Video banking can greatly enhance offerings in full-size branches, drive throughs, micro branches, standalone kiosks, in-store branches, online, and in banking apps, adding that key “human element” to the customer experience.

What’s Driving Video Services in Banks & Credit Unions?

Consumers in general increasingly want an omnichannel approach from all their favorite retailers and service providers. This means they want a range of communications options, as well as the ability for service providers to access all their information from one centralized hub.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, banks and credit unions needed to quickly adopt customer touchpoints that would eliminate in-person interactions. Banking services moved en masse to online platforms, but institutions without a video conferencing app or infrastructure to support it realized they were missing crucial opportunities to deliver the same level of customer service without that face-to-face interaction. Pandemic or no, surveys consistently find that customers expect — even demand — comprehensive digital capabilities from their banks and credit unions. Institutions that are slow to acknowledge the critical need for digital infrastructure risk falling behind the competition.

During interruptions to in-person service (even if it’s just overnight), banks and credit unions rely on their kiosks to keep serving customers and members without interruption. Outside of business hours, video-enabled kiosks can keep operations running and serve customers who might otherwise not make it into the branch during the day. Plus, ITM kiosks are a low-cost alternative to longer hours and more staff, since one dedicated video teller can service multiple regions from one location during off-peak hours.

Video banking helps bridge the gap between a digital-only approach and a personalized customer service interaction by providing the crucial human element. Moving forward, video banking solutions will continue to help financial institutions to:

  • Stand apart from competitors
  • Minimize costs while increasing returns
  • Provide routine service without compromising quality
  • Build and maintain trust between customers and the institution
  • Meet the demands of a digital-forward future

The ability to access video banking is especially crucial for customers who rely on human interaction to navigate more complex financial services. While some institutions’ attention may be on millennial and Generation Z customers, there are still plenty of banking adults (including members of those younger demographics) who prefer to bring their questions about mortgages and investments to the physical bank or credit union branch. Digital solutions that enable users to address those questions in a safe, secure portal without needing to access a physical branch adds critical value to institutions that implement them.

18 Reasons to Leverage Video Banking in Your Branch

We’ve discussed the context and overall implications of adopting video banking tools — now let’s get into the tangible benefits.

How Video Banking Benefits Financial Institutions

Video banking apps and ITMs deliver great returns to banks and credit unions in the following ways:

    1. Kiosks reduce building, rental and facility costs, since, even with the implementation of new technology, it is far less expensive to build or operate than a full branch.
    2. ITMs reduce in-branch wait times by providing multiple options for service.
    3. By strategically laying out self-service stations, teller counters, and offices, financial institutions can direct branch traffic flow in a way that minimizes bottlenecks or confusion.
    4. Video conferencing technology reduces staffing costs by enabling a smaller number of employees to service multiple locations without being physically present.
    5. Likewise, employees can serve more customers in less time, since all it takes to “change locations” is the touch of a button.
    6. The digital interface means that video tellers can bring other financial specialists into the call from an altogether different location.
    7. More than traditional over-the-phone service, video banking helps to build personal relationships between customers and employees.
    8. By using a secure conferencing portal, remote tellers can easily access customer information during a call while ensuring data privacy.
    9. Institutions can monitor and record calls to analyze customer data, which helps predict customers’ needs or preferences for their next service interaction.
    10. The ability to record video banking interactions can also help institutions improve their service scripts.

How Video Banking Benefits Users

Even though many banking customers prefer to have the option to visit a branch, access to video banking solutions makes a major difference when in-person service is unavailable.

    1. With access to ITM kiosks or video conferencing apps, customers and members don’t have to wait as long to speak to a specialist in-branch.
    2. Customers and members appreciate the attention to convenience, which boosts customer satisfaction and loyalty.
    3. Video banking apps allow customers and members to conduct transactions from home, from the office, or even while on vacation, which saves time and hassle.
    4. Video banking keeps customers and members without easy access to their bank or credit union connected to their financial services. If a customer is sick, injured, lives in a rural area, or is otherwise unable to access a physical branch, they can still access a full suite of services.
    5. Digital capabilities like video banking give financial institutions a competitive edge, which makes their services appealing to a wider range of customers and demographics. Millennials and Zoomers who prefer a digital-first experience can use the same bank or credit union as their parents and grandparents, which makes matters like funds transfers or estate planning easier.
    6. Video banking bridges the gap between routine transactions and complicated financial services, so customers have the option of calling in help when a transaction becomes confusing.
    7. ITMs and video banking apps provide that essential “human element” for customers who are skeptical of automated banking services.
    8. A video teller can read a customer’s facial expression and posture during a video call, and can respond appropriately when they sense a customer is becoming confused or agitated. This helps set customers at ease and boosts trust in the service.

Of course, all of these benefits are contingent upon having a solution that works. Far too many customers complain of difficulties in using their bank or credit union’s website or mobile applications, which results in a general distrust of financial institutions as a whole.

Video Banking Recommendations

Specific technology aside, financial institutions need to embrace a competitive mindset as we move into an increasingly digital future. That mindset should extend to all areas of operation, including customer service, the user experience, and even how institutions use and collect customer data.

When selecting video banking technologies, institutions should prioritize the following:

  • Research and select high-quality technology and equipment that integrates well with the existing infrastructure (both technological and physical).
  • Select solutions that are a wise investment — the up-front cost may be significant, but the right solution will pay off long term in sales, customer growth, and retention.
  • Ease-of-use should be a top priority, both for customers and employees.
  • Video banking should add to and enhance your current operations; it should not require current processes to change or adapt significantly.
  • Be sure video banking is something customers/members and employees want. Employees especially need to see and understand the value in the new technology, as they will be the ones training users and troubleshooting it! The decision to implement new technology solutions should be supported by survey feedback data, both internal and external.
  • The equipment and software may be new, but they should serve to extend your brand. Develop a strategy to introduce new tech that aligns with your existing brand persona.

If you find what seems like the perfect solution for your branch, ask the following questions to ensure it’s the right fit:

  1. Will video banking be available after business hours?
  2. Will the location compromise current branch traffic or operations?
  3. On the other hand, will the in-branch solution be placed so customers/members have easy access to onsite staff or services, if need be?
  4. Will you be designating employees as video-only, or will your staff switch between in-person and virtual service?
  5. Who can provide troubleshooting services?
  6. How will you extend your band to your video banking app or ITM?
  7. Can this new equipment or software integrate with your existing digital infrastructure?

At Element, we specialize in guiding financial institutions through the technology implementation process, from integrating new tech with your existing infrastructure, all the way through training your employees to onboard customers and members. If you’re considering new video banking solutions, send us a message or give us a call — we’ll help you adopt the technology your customers or members need in a way that enhances your existing space.


What does an Element project look like?

Download our 2023 Look Book here.

A man in a blue button-up.
Marc Healy
executive director of retail and marketing

Often greeted by the team as “Mr. HEALY!,” with all suitable pomp, Marc is known to be a positive force of nature in the office. After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Business and a concentration in Finance, Marc proceeded to leap right into leadership positions. His career now spans over 35 years, with experience in marketing, sales, and finance.


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