10Clouds’ Virtual Branch — Digital Banking Services for Financial Institutions’ Clients

21.04.2022 | 6 min read

Commercial online banking is now focused on elevating the customer experience, and 10Clouds wants to support that. Together with industry partners and experts, we work on the Virtual Branch – a product for digitally improved customer experience, with a focus on convenient access to competencies that banking clients look for and on building relationships.

By introducing the Virtual Branch, 10Clouds will play a part in making digital banking services and sales more than just an experience. We want to turn it into a real market advantage for our clients.

With enormous market competition on one side, and well-established FinTech companies on the other, high-street banks try to embrace customers’ expectations to craft not only offers but overall experiences.

This article is about the product discovery phase – a crucial part of the process of building digital solutions. Not all banking software providers engage in that step; we treat it very seriously, and we’ll explain why later. At this stage of product development, we have partnered with global industry leaders: Pexip and Mastercard.

But first, let’s dive into market challenges and expectations that naturally lead to the benefits of establishing a Virtual Branch for a bank. For mote insights, also read our Behance case study from the product's discovery process.

Virtual branch online banking – the key to modern customer service

COVID-19 accelerated a process we have observed for years now. Brick and mortar branches are not convenient enough for the growing demand of customers for easier, faster, and more convenient service. In fact, getting people to visit a traditional branch or to meet in person at the client’s office is a growing challenge for consultants.

We are aiming to improve the daily operations of both clients and banks. In general, we provide:

With Virtual Branch online banking, many processes are simplified and efficient for different customer types. Search for convenience, automation that leads to a lower amount of work and time saving is expected by clients from private individuals to corporations. Obviously the complexity changes along with the customer size.

For now, we focus on the following customer types:

  • Premium banking
  • Micro

  • SME
  • Corporations

Virtual banking enables players in this industry to stand out in the very competitive market and adjust their offers to the customers’ demand and the new, hybrid way of life. An embedded video channel is a solution for effective communication between various representatives of the client and the bank. It provides a platform for sharing not only necessary documentation in a seamless way but also marketing materials in an attractive form in a video waiting room or feature that allows effectively discuss clients’ needs and pains.

The Virtual Branch Product Discovery

While working on the Virtual Branch concept we used the Product Discovery approach. It allows us to discover all the main assumptions of the product, in order to reduce project risks and costs. This approach allows fast go-to-market with increased chances of success from both market and employees' perspectives.

We started the workshop together with specifics banks’ stakeholders to draw a frame of work and expected results from the exercise.

On the next steps, we have worked on obtaining an understanding of the daily work of banking advisors and products specialists with their clients. We were working on this with the specific bank’s (one by one) employees like team leads, banking advisors, products specialists and consultants. We gathered the perception of the employees on the customer subtypes within the identified customer types above. We were mapping today’s experiences of employees when in interaction with clients and clients’ experiences expressed by the bank's employees. This way we were able to find answers for very crucial questions like:

  • What motivates/frustrates today bank’s employees when servicing customers?
  • What might be the threats/opportunities from their perspective when thinking about the Virtual Branch solution?

Based on the workshops with employees, we gathered tons of information how to approach this solution in real life to improve the success ratio. You may find examples below:

Summary quote: "Time to build relationships, not formalities"

  • Faster, easier sale
  • Improving efficiency (including higher reaction speed, no commuting)
  • Possibility of relieving employees from technical tasks that take unnecessary time
  • Introducing easier redirects to other departments (minimizing customer switching, facilitating communication)

The Product Discovery for Virtual Branch is a 5 step process.

  • During the initial research activities, the 10Clouds Design and Product Delivery Team supported by the company banking experts conducted a full market exploration.
  • Afterwards, we run workshops with bank representatives and employees.
  • Worth to mention is that to come up with the right solution, we had to analyze daily tasks of banks’ employees. In the end they will be the heavy users of the solution, when servicing clients.
  • In the next phase this will result in the concept of the specific solution - Virtual Branch adjusted to specific bank’s needs with a detailed justification. 

Participants of the Product Discovery workshops stress the value of such an approach towards collecting information about the stakeholders’ needs in the banks, banks' employees, and their customers.

Workshops with the stakeholders are a great idea as they help shorten the distance between the envisaged and the likely outcome - says Andrzej Święch, Sales Steering Leader in Capital Markets, Raiffeisen Banking International. “The forum gave us enough space to verbalize our requirements and expectations. They also provided insights into the values for the end-users. The more you think about the shape of the future solution, the more demanding it appears.

Going through the discovery phase was especially valuable as it highlighted what to avoid and also, what could be easily skipped. It helped us stay focused and challenge our initial concepts. We realized that the Holy Grail from the perspective of a bank client lies in the convenient access to the provider of the right expertise as much as in the optimal sales and service. Such a strong conviction is a great advantage when it comes to application development as it almost guarantees the stability of the business requirements throughout the process.

Dawid Kolasa, Regional Sales Manager CEE from Pexip adds: “We are trusted by many different corporate clients around the world millions, so we can’t afford to use something that is only half-baked. We rely on solutions that are thought-out and carefully planned in the first place. That’s why we are impressed with the scope of the discovery phase. Everything was planned and elevated to a great level of detail. We have no doubt that a full product, when done, will meet the strict demands of a company like ours.

“Customers want to collaborate with banks in an easy, secure, and fast way. 10Clouds with their expertise in digital banking solutions, together with Pexip video engine will move this collaboration to the real future.” Dawid Kolasa, Regional Sales Manager CEE at Pexip explains why this global company joined the Virtual Branch project.

Universal product with top of the market video experience

The origins of our product came from inquiries from banks regarding the development of the tools supporting remote onboarding and sales of investment products.

Our approach to the product creation process? We started with a discovery phase, which is crucial to digital product development. It saves money and development time through a careful walkthrough of the vision, and functional requirements for the application.

Considering the above, and customers’ demands, we decided to create a tool tailored to the end-user for comprehensive customer service in financial institutions. The aim is to improve sales and customer service offered by employees using remote communication channels.

Despite its origins in finance, the solution could be utilized in every business, where there is a need for physical interaction of the client with the company’s representative. The product we create enables any company to efficiently verify the client, discover the client’s needs based on their data and online communication, sign documents, etc.

An important part of it is a video engine service, which also supports interaction with clients. The solution provider is Pexip, an international leader in video-based communication and collaboration. The company’s portfolio of products ranges from self-hosted software to cloud service video solutions. It provides seamless collaboration between previously incompatible video and audio technologies such as professional video conferencing systems, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts Meet, and WebRTC.

“Customers want to collaborate with banks in an easy, secure, and fast way. 10Clouds with their expertise in digital banking solutions, together with Pexip video engine will move this collaboration to the real future.” Dawid Kolasa, Regional Sales Manager CEE at Pexip explains why this global company joined the Virtual Branch project.

Looking for an expert team to help you develop your banking or FinTech product?

Get in touch with our Head of Banking and FinTech, Karol Stępień, for a free consultation at karol.stepien@10Clouds.com or +48 535 501 111.

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