The future of banks: customer service bots or multipurpose terminals?

The rapidly changing finance market, affected by the emergence of FinTech startups such as Revolut and others, forces banks and financial institutions to optimize their operations and look for ways to retain their customers, since customized services are no longer enough for that.

Financial institutions face the challenges to intensify investments in various smart solutions. As an example, in order to increase the customer service quality and their own image, Scandinavian banks plan to test bots (artificial intelligence) that are able to replace a huge amount of employees.

Daniel Fukson, business development manager at Lithuanian banking technology company BS/2, says that financial institutions should pay more attention to multipurpose solutions that may become an alternative for the entire bank branch.

“Automated or smart customer service solutions are making their first steps now and their effectiveness hasn’t been evaluated yet. However, there is another area to move for innovative banks – the multifunctional terminals – that are able to replace a small bank branch and provide customers with all needed services in one place. It meets the case, while more financial institutions go online and cut their traditional branches and staff,” said Fukson.

According to the head of the BS/2 business development department, the company has been successfully developing such a technological solution VTM.iQ for some time already. Banks that are using this equipment significantly cut their expenses, find no need to rent premises and hire new staff.

“One advantage of VTM.iQ is that it is multipurpose and can be used not only for the banking products but also for insurance, retail and information services. This terminal can be placed in shopping malls, post offices, railway stations or other places with large people flows. In essence, it is a self-service terminal where customers can buy various services and get a bank specialist’s assistance via video-conference call,” explained Daniel Fukson.

The BS/2 representative noted that this equipment promotes customer loyalty due to its functionality and usability. Customers are provided with an opportunity to open an account and perform all most common financial operations around the corner, even in a small town where there are no bank branches at all.

“The number of online banking products is growing. It means that customers have less opportunity to communicate directly with bank staff and even might feel wasted. VTM.iQ solution helps to keep this direct contact because customers can get a professional advice and see a person (actually, a bank’s face) who really cares. It means that banks can stay in the client area following the course of operational excellence and not become a faceless financial monster,” added Fukson.

VTM.iQ is able to provide a range of different opportunities: from making a loan and bank service agreement to card obtaining, bill and fine payment as well as purchasing and immediate printing of flight or concert tickets. To get the access to services a client should authorize himself with a bank card, biometrics data, NFC and other ways.

The first multipurpose units of this type have been successfully delivered to Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and other countries.

BS/2,  part of the Penki Kontinentai group,  is a recognized banking and retail industry technology leader that has been consulting and providing innovative banking and retail solutions to various organizations in 77 countries for over 25 years now. The top-notch company specializes in business process automation, software development, system integration, sales of equipment and technical maintenance services. Among BS/2 clients are the largest banks in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, other financial institutions, retail companies.