Central to Digital Transformation is reinventing how you interact with customers, finding new ways to better serve their requirements while also reducing costs.
Key technologies can play an important role in achieving this, particularly those that make building new communications channels.
Especially potent is the developer tool set Azure Communications Services, multichannel communication APIs for adding voice, video, chat, text messaging/SMS, email, and more to all your applications.
Reinventing Digital Banking
As this video explains ABN Amro, led by Joeri Hartmans, Senior Product Owner of Video Banking and Interactive Voice Response, uses Microsoft Teams and Azure Communication Services to bring fully customized Teams meeting capabilities directly into the bank’s own digital banking portal for customers, creating a streamlined meeting experience where they can book meetings without having to leave the portal.
In early iterations of video banking at ABN AMRO, its financial advisors had to schedule their own appointments and send out meeting links. Customers often had to download a legacy mobile app or desktop version of Cisco Webex to join the meetings. While it was a relatively simple process, especially compared with an in-person appointment at a branch, the experience felt disjointed.
The bank used Teams and Azure Communication Services to construct a truly unified banking portal, including an ABN AMRO branded lobby where customers can wait to start a meeting and enhancements to help build trust in the online experience. The video banking portal also includes all the tools that customers need for signing and sharing documents, and it also makes it easier for financial advisors to consult with colleagues and, in some cases, bring them into customer meetings.
Teams and Azure Communication Services stood out because of the ability to interoperate with the bank’s existing tool set, including Microsoft Dynamics 365.
“Teams offers the capabilities and the roadmap we needed to align it with our customer journeys,” says Hartmans. One of the most important aspects of that roadmap was the inclusion of Azure Communication Services SDKs.
“Along with picture-in-picture technology, the ability to use web and mobile SDKs to incorporate Teams into our digital banking environment was compelling,” he continues. “We found the features we needed in Teams.”
By focusing on digital banking, ABN AMRO has reduced its overall branch network significantly, from close to 200 branches across the Netherlands down to 25. The bank recognizes that some people still like to visit branches in person, but it’s finding that more and more, people love the digital option, and that clear preference led to a decrease in physical branches.