When the pandemic struck in early 2020, video conferencing stepped into the limelight of the world’s general population and many, now household names, took a dominant place in all our lives. Some financial organizations were quick to seize the opportunity to stay in touch with their customers remotely and chose one of the well-known off-the-shelf options. 

It starts to become clear, however, that some failed to grasp the pitfalls and shortcomings of these solutions, from security and compliance concerns to a fragmented customer journey. In some areas we now see the market backtracking. Where fast decisions were made to solve a short term problem, both internal and external regulators are now questioning the compliance of these solutions.

The ideal video solution allows your organization to virtually replace in-person meetings with a digital alternative. However, not all video solutions are created equal. So, what criteria should financial institutions be using when choosing a video conference solution? This is a topic that we at Unblu are talking to customers and prospects about on a daily basis. Read on to discover some of the tricky issues that you should consider.

1. KYC

Sending your customers a link to join a video conference by email or calendar invite tells you only one thing: That you know an email address that you think belongs to your customer. Nothing more, nothing less. So, on that basis, your employees can only have a limited amount of confidence that the person they are speaking with is actually the person they should be speaking with. No passcode or other information also sent by email helps with this. If the email is wrong or someone has breached that person’s email, by whatever means, then this kind of setup is open to fraud. Thus, it’s debatable whether it is either secure or compliant to have financial services interactions based on this mechanism. 

So, how to solve this dilemma?

  • Host the video conference in a secured environment, i.e. from a logged in portal or e-banking. You’ll need a video conferencing solution that can be fully integrated into your existing channels for this. 
  • Verify the identity of each participant in the call. Without automation in place this would be a cumbersome process for your employees.

2. Seamless customer experience

The popular and well known video meeting solutions in the consumer market were designed for one-off interactions. You create a meeting, share the link by email or calendar invite, have the call, and move on to the next. Some were even designed for an entirely different original purpose, such as to allow employees and teams to interact with one another inside an organisation. Either way, they were not meant to form part of a wider enterprise customer experience strategy covering the entire gamut of use-cases within a bank or insurance company. So, what happens when you’d like to have a secured conversation with an authenticated client? The answer is probably that you will need another solution to cover that use-case. Wouldn’t it be better to have a fully integrated set of digital tools that can be combined into a single and seamless customer experience covering multiple journeys? 

3. About screen sharing

Protecting CID isn’t only about regulatory compliance. You have to consider the other implications of allowing your employees to interact with your customers using digital tools, like video conferencing. For example, most video conferencing solutions also leverage screen sharing as a way for the participants to see the same thing, be it a document, browser, or application. Here though, you may have a problem. 

What seems convenient inside an organisation, can be dangerous when leveraged with external parties, like customers. For example, what happens if your employee were to share their desktop, which could have inappropriate materials, or other customer’s CID present. The most likely outcome is a simple lowering of trust with the customer exposed to this material, but worse, it could be used fraudulently. The same goes for the customers sharing their screen with the agent. Do you feel comfortable with your employees being exposed to almost any CID that they happen to be shown? These matters need to be thought about carefully especially in a financial services setting. 

These are actually some of the reasons that financial services companies, especially banks have been coming to Unblu for over 10 years for our co-browsing technology, because it tackles these issues head on. By the way, we do also provide screen sharing, but we are also careful to consult our clients on the use-cases that another solution, like co-browsing, makes more sense.

4. Integrated

On the face of it you just need your advisors and staff to be talking to your customers every day, helping them to achieve their goals. However, in our experience it’s not always that simple. What if you need to just tweak the customer journey with a configuration change that only affects this group of users or customers? What if you want to introduce a bot into the conversation? What if you want the same employees to also use other channels, like WhatsApp, with the same customers? What if you need to integrate an e-signature process or client onboarding? What if the employee experience needs to be embedded inside your CRM or call center application? 

All of these things can be done with a solution that has been designed to flexibly adapt to a customer journey across channels and devices. With a point solution for video conferencing, it might do that one thing well, but what happens when you need to take it a step further to solve other real business problems?

5. Compliance and CID

Any video solution worth considering must of course have the latest industry standard encryption standards in place, based on proven, open standards. It’s worth going a bit deeper though and truly considering how hardened the solution is relative to the requirements set by your regulator. For example, if the solution is cloud based, can you be certain that the cloud operator (and its employees) cannot see or store the IP address of the call participants? If there is a risk, can it be mitigated by deploying certain elements on-premise, such as an IP proxy or your own TURN server?

6. Data Processing and Storage

Regulatory requirements demand that certain types of communication and storage are limited to certain geographies. For your chosen video conferencing solution to be compliant with regulations, it must allow for regional routing and geo-fencing. This means you can pick a data center in your preferred region, store archives from different geographical locations, and restrict server-side processing to certain regions. 

7. Adaptable to your brand

The commonly known video conferencing solutions were not designed from the ground up to fit seamlessly into your customer journeys. In fact, they want to remain recognisable for what they are so that their brand enjoys the serendipity of the network effect. 

This is not normally what a bank or insurance company wishes to do though. Instead, you want your customers to be thinking about you and what a great company and brand you are to work with, not your tools. Unblu is an enterprise software company, which means we don’t wish to be in the limelight with your customers. We want to help you be successful, creating a win-win, which is why our platform is hugely customizable, from the colours, shapes, texts, logo, sizing, positioning and on and on. You can make Unblu look exactly how you want it and even change it based on where it is integrated in the customer journey.

Video solutions for financial advice & Unblu

Secure, compliant, customizable, ready to integrate, and accessible from any device at any time as part of a seamless and flexible customer journey, Unblu is the industry gold-standard for remote financial advice. Learn more about how Unblu can help you level-up your customer service by booking a demo today and one of the Unblu team members will be in contact. 

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