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Perhaps, a decade ago augmented reality in fintech sounded like futuristic technology, but now it is the new lucrative tomorrow in the banking sphere. The times of bank queues, manual features, and brick and mortar technologies have outlived themselves. Today, banks try to implement alternative ways like virtual reality banking and augmented reality in banking to reach the new generation of tech-savvy clients.
Despite a decade of augmented reality on the market, this technology still has to show off what it can do to transfer the banking industry beyond recognition. The first step has been already taken – augmented reality banking app resides in smartphones all around the globe. Banks never felt like falling behind concerning technological progress and took up mobile banking technologies as the breakthrough direction to pursue further. A simple banking app has a truly outstanding mission – it assists customers and effectively manages their finances. Thus, it is projected that augmented reality will gain approximately $120 billion profit by 2021. Top companies investing in augmented reality in 2020 are Facebook, Microsoft, Alphabet, Sony, Intel Corp., Qualcomm, Snap, and Apple. These are the leading AR and VR companies that greatly contribute to the evolution of augmented reality.
Financial technologies exist all around us and give us such innovative possibilities as to augment, to streamline, to digitize, and to disrupt the traditional financial services industry worldwide. Therefore, there are some types of apps in the fintech industry powered by augmented reality and having vast room for opportunities. Among these:
Data analysis and visualization is something adherent to financial traders, who work with big amounts of information and search ways of making the process easier and faster. Hence, fintech virtual reality and augmented reality apps help them immensely in organizing data. For example, let’s take the Citibank located in the USA. Citibank implemented AR in its banking services and made it with a taste unlike the other banks worldwide. While most of the financial help provided was concentrated only on direct customers, this bank decided to focus on the financial trading sector and its workers. Their innovation lies in an AR solution, a Holographic Workstation, which uses HoloLens technology powered by Microsoft. Here, financial traders can look through financial data in real-time (using holograms) and track stock index trends, which will later impact the forecasting techniques of financial decision-making based on infographics. Also, market analysis can be carried out interactively by sharing AR reality data visualizations with teammates. The AR system works on voice requests from the financial traders and contributes to real-time communication and visual data sharing. Holographic Workstation can also finalize trades and investments itself. Pretty smart!
Contactless payments have been highly appreciated in the world since the pandemic strike. In order not to use paper cash, which has the potential to transmit the Covid-19 virus, people are delighted to make payments using their smartphones and bank cards. For example, Visa and MasterCard, which are the largest payment processing networks in the world, have numerous payment possibilities. Visa integrates their payments using AR and makes it possible to pay for any services seamlessly. Also, Visa allows interactive map visualization of food outlets, going through the menu of any institution, picking up the most appealing meals, and making an order. The order is paid for using Visa’s AR abilities this instant. Hence, the value of this app is in the special ability for users to view features on top of the payment system. Quite an outstanding way to promote Fintech in banking! Mastercard, in its turn, adheres to fintech virtual reality more and proposes the whole virtual world for its customers, where they can purchase online instead of offline. That’s the future of virtual reality in banking!
Augmented Reality in banking can add positive features to Fintech security solutions as well. This can be done through authentication using biometrics. With the help of AR, you can access your bank services, initiate payments and money transactions from the app. For instance, we already experience fingerprint access to our banking applications, and face recognition technology is on its way. Workers of the bank may even have such an authentication method installed to enter their banking institutions or special rooms within these institutions that require extra security. Safety first!
Both financial workers and customers of banks need to be educated according to financial management and newer changes in the financial sector. For this reason, augmented reality (and fintech virtual reality, of course) was implemented into banking apps. For example, the Desjardins Bank in Canada has solved the retirement planning experience by introducing the augmented reality banking app called “Your Way Desjardins”. The main character in the app is “Penny”, who educates the bank’s customers about different ways they can save money for their retirement in the future. What is more, it does not depend on whether you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, the information is useful and can help you save up a significant sum. You can make Penny alive with the help of your smartphone’s camera. Then she’ll give you tips about customized bank offers and ways of learning. Penny will guide you through with the help of interactive videos. The main aim of this AR-powered app is to increase awareness and literacy among the potential users and those, who might be customers one day. The way of informing about retirement possibilities is so fun, you’ll surely enjoy every minute of it.
The other example of educating possibilities is the BNP Paribas Fortis Bank’s AR technology in France. The bank cares about its employees and released an AR-supported interactive print application to help bank workers remember product and services details. This app has the potential to recognize photos of the bank staff. Then the app shows a video with different bank products overlaying the photo. This information is quite handy when you need to tell someone about the services of BNP Paribas Fortis and there are lots of details you might miss out while remembering on your own. This AR app is the new digital version of the pamphlet that gives extensive information about the bank. So, the bank doesn’t need actual pamphlets or catalogs to inform its customers about BNP Paribas Fortis banking services.
Customer experience is the number one trigger that makes the financial industry so creative about service providing. With the help of AR technologies, this experience becomes an outstanding journey. For instance, the Commonwealth Bank in Australia has introduced the “CommBank Property” app that included valuable information about all the private residents in the country. Customers, who want to get some information about the property can use the AR-supported real estate application, scan the residence, and get a real-time detailed report. Normally, this report includes location description, demographics, the average price, real building conditions, the best residents, and the growth trends of capital. You can always check this information and decide whether the property corresponds to your lifestyle and possibilities. What’s more, the resident exploration does not stop there. You can always virtually explore the property with the help of the same real estate application and make up your mind about the future purchase. The AR real estate app can also show data according to your monthly load based on the home load plan chosen considering financial possibilities. If you decide to buy the property, you can always call a bank agent through the same application. The most significant aspect of this AR-powered app is that it saves all the customer’s residence search experience. That’s why, when it comes to AR residence shopping in Australia, the real estate banking app is the best choice!
The other example of perfect customer services using AR is the Capital One Bank in the USA. This bank has to deal with car loans. For this reason, Capital one produced the AR-powered app called “Auto Navigator”. Here, with the help of Fintech technology’s AR, you can view car retail showrooms or walk past the car and view data about it on the screen of your smartphone. For example, if you want to know the specific year of production, and car model number, this information will appear in front of your eyes within seconds and give you full answers to the most asked questions. Also, there is a possibility to receive a car loan and the app will show a full description of this process based on such factors as personal preferences, financial abilities, and buying eligibility. All you need to buy a car is placed in an AR-based app – the intentionally produced Fintech to promote car sales and keep the bank sales funnel with customer journeys from A to Z. Thus, this is a top-notch way to produce loan-facilitating AR-powered apps that have an immersive interface.
Whenever customers can’t be physically present in the bank, the AR-supported banking app becomes handy. As soon as banks became aware that it is possible to do with the help of technologies, they produced banking apps, which helped millions of customers to carry out their financial operations online. For example, the Westpac Bank in New Zealand. Having heard about and seen the world’s changes in banking services, New Zealand wanted to keep up the pace and launched its AR-powered mobile application. Westpac Bank introduced an interactive feature that helped customers manage their bank accounts. For example, augmented reality finance gives possibilities to scan debit or credit cards using just the smartphone camera following an immediate display of the customer’s card balance, detailed 2-week spending, purchases segmented according to spending categories, and, information about future payment deductions from the card based on monthly subscriptions to any services and credit card due-payments so not to receive a commission fee for being late. Future payments are being made through the AR gateways in less than a minute. Convenient indeed! To make this banking application stand out, its UI allows viewing transaction details and analytics through augmented reality data visualization and, as a bonus, helps to track and understand your spending patterns. Besides, it has a “HotPoints” catalog, which is designed for this app and makes it possible to shop online using AR technology. The other much-needed feature, which Westpac bank proposes, is the interactive map showing the nearest ATMs. However, New Zealand made this feature one level higher than the rest of the countries. How? Westpac mobile app allows you to see the nearest ATMs internationally, regardless of the country you are visiting. Very thoughtful and client-oriented!
Also, the Axis Bank in India decided to conform to the new Fintech standards and has released a mobile banking application offering some cutting-edge AR services. For instance, with the help of augmented reality, you can open an interactive map with the nearest bank branches and ATMs within your current location. What is more, the Axis Bank went even further and developed something the other Indian banks did not have. Besides showing bank institutions and ATMs, the AR-supported app also shows food outlets, where you can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Also, only at these particular places, you can pay using specifically-created discount points that are being accrued as bonus points based on banking payments and money transactions. Hence, using AR Fintech, Axis raised its positive brand image and social awareness of new possibilities. Paying with the help of virtual wallets and credit cards makes Axis the top customer-preferred augmented reality finance service.
Recruitment of employees has always been a time-consuming process with the standard list of actions from candidate search to onboarding. However, with the help of AR, recruiters of banks can readjust the process in a top-level way. For instance, the ASB Bank in New Zealand has turned to AR in the Fintech banking industry, but for the recruitment services. Here, ASB designed an AR-supported pamphlet, which came alive with the help of scanning the paper one. This technique of bank promotion and introduction to the potential bank candidates has surprised and inspired them to be a part of the ASB banking services. Here, the potential candidate can view the bank’s values, vision, and mission, and the key-people, i.e. executive general manager, of ASB Bank. Maybe, today, using AR in banking to help recruit top talents is not much of the real Fintech, but surely something new that is worth trying! For ASB Bank, it is not only the creative method to recruit employees, but a means for standing out among its competitors.
Sometimes, getting customers to be aware of the potential benefits of using the bank is a complex mission. As there are personal preferences of every bank user, banks decided to promote their brand by AR technologies and positive customer experience. For example, the Deutsche Bank in Germany creatively approached AR Fintech. The Deutsche Bank has installed a magic mirror in one of the country malls. This mirror supported AR and surprised customers visually. For instance, with sea views, unicorns galloping by, and a virtual football field. Luckily, German citizens found it entertaining to see themselves in an alternative reality and doing various activities. The core intention behind this marketing campaign was to form a positive brand image of the bank. Yes, AR can also be used in Fintech to promote the bank and its services! And it’s rocketing!
The other bank to use AR was the Standard Chartered Bank in China. As China has also experienced the need to upgrade its financial services, the Standard Chartered bank came up with the AR mobile application called “Breeze Living”. The innovation lies in establishing an open social network, where discounts and coupons are being shared. Here, customers sign up, create communities, and share coupons with each other. One more interesting app feature reminds of Pokémon Go, but instead of Pokémons, Chinese people catch AR kites across the country sky and receive an awesome offer. Another advantage of this AR app is the ability to share the kite-caught offer with your virtual community. Why not? The idea behind creating and launching Breeze Living was to make the majority of the population (especially, new customers) use Standard Charters services such as payment-on-the-go and receive extra benefit from it!
Augmented Reality indeed is something cosmic giving the financial industry possibilities to make it stand out. Augmented reality technology companies try to bring newer solutions to the market and achieve customers’ engagement in interactive apps, which is better and with heightened interest. Thus, Fintech is the future of banking (read more Why Fintech Is The Future Of Banking here), and augmented reality, in its turn, is the future of Fintech!