How augmented interactive reality could change the face of financial services

Posted on: December 16, 2019 by Danny Oldenhave

To outsmart new FinTech rivals, traditional banking and insurance companies need to make full use of the things they do best: building relationships. Success in today’s world is about leveraging technology to offer customers an experience that goes leaps and bounds beyond simply delivering the cold online service offered by online technologies.

Yes, more people are using online banking. Yes, people like to engage with their insurance companies online. But people still visit the bank, and they do so because they feel more at ease than just sending a message online. And people do call their insurance company, and they do so because they feel better supported than when they interact online. And this is particularly important during the big moments of their lives or at times of crisis.

So how can financial services companies deliver a true customer experience that combines the comfort of personal face-to-face interaction with the convenience of anytime, anywhere mobile?

The answer lies in Augmented Interactive Reality (AIR).

What is Augmented Interactive Reality?

Augmented Interactive Reality is a new technology that combines virtual reality, augmented reality, and holographic / mixed reality: it provides a way for people to immerse themselves in virtual contact. AIR uses technology from spatial aware devices, to virtual goggles, to smart glasses to even your smartphone. By combining this technology with immersion, AIR delivers solutions focused on experiences which are designed specifically for customers.

AIR will help financial services companies get closer to their customers. For banks, it will allow them to provide a service that puts the customer at the center. For insurance companies, it will help them reduce – and even prevent – risk, and therefore claims.

To give you a better feel of how, let’s look at some examples.

In banking

AIR could be a new channel for customers to engage with their banks. It would combine the highly engaging experience of visiting the branch with the convenience of mobile.

Imagine a customer using a smart device being able, from their own living room, to not only visualize any data from their banking account in 3D but also to transfer money, make a payment, or any of the other actions they would expect to be able to do online or in the branch.

Take it a step further, and they could even chat with a holographic person, ask questions and get answers from a bot which is backed by artificial intelligence. This form of engagement could be useful for people who do not feel comfortable talking to an unfamiliar person about their finances or other personal subjects. And for those coming in physically to a branch, AIR could enable them to interact with the same technologies, with their own living room as backdrop, to make them feel more at ease, yet still being on location inside a banking branch.

In investment banking specifically, smart glasses could present a convenient yet highly immersive 3D visualization of the world’s stock markets. Fully emerged in a 3D presentation of their financial data, investors would have a comprehensive view that brings together different data types. They would have access to useful novel insights that might simply not be visible in a 2D view.

And since not everyone is comfortable with numbers and data, smart glasses could open up the opportunity for new and clearer ways to represent these. For example, by making data more graphical using shapes (growing and shrinking in all three dimensions), enabling immersive simulations, and allowing for a shared experience with people from all over the world.

In insurance

With insurance claims on the rise, AIR can help insurance companies raise awareness around safety in the home. AIR could help people understand more about the dangers lurking, with for example insurance companies offering free VR goggles to their loyalty program customers to undergo the experience in order to know how to be more alert and take the right precautions. Thus, reducing insurance claims.

Also, with climate change increasing weather-related claims from floods and storms, a virtual reality headset in combination with drones carrying 360-degree cameras could speed up assessing what is quite often an extensive area of damage.

Or even for smaller claims, AIR can help speed up assessments. A claimant could use augmented reality on their smartphone to make a video showing the damage to their possessions, however large or small. Take it one step further, and built-in artificial intelligence could even provide an initial assessment of the damage – and the cost of repair.

At a time when agile new entrants are leveraging new technologies to offer banking and insurance customers a new kind of experience, traditional players can fight back by combining their experience in building strong relationships with technologies that can deliver a convenient yet very personal experience.

As FinTechs tempt customers away with their handy apps, AIR opens the door to new ways to put the customer at the center.

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About Danny Oldenhave
Consulting Lead for Gaming and xR (VR/AR/MR) and member of the Scientific Community
As the Consulting Lead for Gaming and xR (VR/AR/MR) at Atos in BNT, Danny is responsible for the consulting part within projects regarding gaming (gamification, serious games, games) and eXtended Realities. As a member of the scientific community and a part-time PhD student he focusses on how Persuasive and Motivational Design can be used to enhance the adoption of innovation within organizations.

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