The way that we bank has seen a seismic shift. Physical finance totems – cheques, paper bills, coins and notes – are declining in usage. So too is the practice of heading to a local banking branch to transfer cash or check an account.
Instead, finance management is increasingly digital. As many as seven in ten of us now handle our finances online. And this change means that banks need to make their services available online, too.
This doesn’t just mean perfunctory self-serve options. It also calls for real-time online banking support – from real humans. Which means, in short, that banks need live chat.
The need for speed
When banking online, a technical issue or a self-service failure doesn’t just mean you don’t get that coat you wanted to buy. It could also mean that you can’t apply for that mortgage, haven’t paid your rent. It has life-altering consequences.
As such, stress levels are high. The last thing banking customers want to do at that moment is sit in an IVR queue, or wait hours, days, weeks for an email reply. They need a quick, low barrier option for reaching out and fixing the problem.
They need bank live chat. With it, they can get in touch with a single click, get connected to the relevant team instantly, and get back on track. Instead of your banking customers losing out, you’re there to help them out. You save them from the stress of a self-service misfire — and that does wonders for their trust in you.
Live chat software doesn’t just promise reduced stress when things go wrong, either. It also means that banks can make more of their services accessible online. This means that customers that can’t get into a branch in person aren’t shut out from certain services.
For example, chat routing means that online banking customers can quickly connect to anyone they might speak to in-branch, based on their needs. (I.e. mortgage advisors, finance consultants, tellers, and so on.) And they can do so without navigating a lengthy IVR process.
Plus, having bank live chat opens the opportunity for a bank chatbot. While not as adept as a human agent, a chatbot can operate 24/7, answer FAQs and help find the correct files. So, online banking customers have a helping hand even out-of-hours.
Beyond being there for banking customers the moment they need you, live chat is also incredibly versatile. So, no matter what the chat session calls for, a host of digital features can help.
In branch, a consultation or interaction with a customer often includes paperwork. They may need to read through documents, fill out applications, or provide identification. With online banking, you aren’t there to dish out the right forms. Over the phone, you rely on the customer finding the right online resource, or awkwardly switching over to email.
But with live chat, you can send and receive necessary statements, documents and files securely, right in the chat window. And you can continue to talk while doing so. This means that banking customers can enjoy the support of an in-branch visit with the convenience of online banking.
Slashing security concerns
But what about security? Banks have strict security needs, which extend to their contact channels too. Security assurance generates trust. And that’s an imperative element when it comes to dealing with sensitive information like bank details.
It’s entirely possible for live chat software to provide the level of security needed for bank live chat. For example, our own WhosOn comes with a host of features and options to meet stringent bank security needs.
For a start, opting for an installable chat solution allows banks to run their chat on their own servers, behind their firewalls. They get full control over chat security. On top of this, every message gets encrypted. Not to mention standard features such as intrusion prevention functionality, and PCI masking to protect card data.
But there are also more stringent measures available for bank live chat deployments. For example, chat can incorporate a proof of identity acceptance process, to enable chat for validated banking customers only. This identity-checks each live chat visitor before allowing them to proceed to a verified customer chat session.
All this to say, then, a chat window won’t provide a window for intruders. By opting for an advanced, robust live chat solution, banks can mitigate any associated security risks.
Banks need live chat
Live chat software is already ubiquitous across ecommerce. Consumers have grown accustomed to using it. They’re comfortable with it.
It’s time for banks to unlock the live chat benefits for their customers, too. With the shift in the way consumers handle their finances, incorporating real-time web support is more an imperative than an elective.