4 September 2012
ASB connects customers face-to-face with banking specialists via new video service
• ASB partners with New Zealand’s FaceMe to offer innovative video conferencing system
In a New Zealand-first, cutting-edge video technology will soon allow ASB customers to connect directly with banking specialists face-to-face, at a time and place convenient to them. ASB’s move comes as the result of a partnership agreement signed with New Zealand technology company FaceMe who will provide ASB with its browser-based video conferencing system.
FaceMe works on almost all computers to connect customers directly to ASB over a secure video-conferencing system, all without the need for the customer to download any additional software. The service also offers the secure sharing of documents, making the call as functional as a real face-to-face meeting. This means banking arrangements can be changed or confirmed without having to go into a branch, which will provide customers with easier access to a wider range of banking services from wherever they choose. The service will also be available on mobile devices within the next few months and additional video banking services such as account opening are under development
“New Zealanders are generally very tech-savvy and have continued to embrace mobile and video technology in their professional and personal lives,” says Ian Park, ASB’s Executive General Manager for Retail & Business Banking. “At the same time, video technology has matured to the point where lifelike video conversations, combined with live document sharing can provide a rich and satisfying experience for customers. We believe that the New Zealand market, with its geographically dispersed and often time-challenged population will see some real benefits in having a simple, convenient and effective channel to engage with their bank when and where they want to.”
“It’s a very exciting development in the sense that it provides a new level of choice and convenience to customers who may live some distance from a branch or who don’t have the time or interest to attend a physical meeting with their bank,” says Mr Park. “Direct video is a new channel that will complement our existing branch network and contact centre in addition to the other technology-based services we have launched recently such as our upgraded ASB mobile banking app and our Facebook Virtual Branch.”
"We are delighted to be partnering with such a forward thinking organisation as ASB,” says Mark Christensen, FaceMe Managing Director. “The basis of our whole product development has been ‘wherever you are and whatever you use", and with FaceMe, we've been very successful at doing this within an absolutely, 100 per cent secure environment for the Bank's customers.”
ASB has been at the forefront of the adoption of video technology for some time and the Bank already operates a successful network of on-site customer video phones, which are available in branches across the country. These video phones have proven to be a popular way for customers to connect with off-site specialists with a high volume of video calls made daily. The introduction of direct video calls via FaceMe represents a major milestone in ASB’s drive to offer video as a viable and effective channel for customers to engage with their bank. ASB’s existing video specialists and infrastructure will be used to support calls made via FaceMe.
Using FaceMe’s technology, customers can make a video-call appointment in advance by phone, email or in-branch and then connect to a banking specialist at the appointment time through a simple email link that automatically starts the video call. The technology is expected to prove popular for customers wanting to discuss insurance needs, home loans and business lending and will allow greater flexibility to small businesses, who will be able to talk directly with their banker outside of normal business hours.
With initial testing complete, a full pilot programme for the FaceMe technology is currently being implemented and customers will be able to use the video-technology when it is launched in the near future.
When it comes to security, FaceMe technology supports the same global security standards required by banking online and mobile. With the use of TLS session encryption and AES 128 Ciphers for real time traffic, customers can be confident that privacy and security are top priorities for this service.