Virtual Branch — an Innovative Finance Platform Created by Industry Leaders

11.07.2022 | 4 min read

Karol Stępień, Head of Banking & Fintech

The postcovid reality shows us that the world will never be the same again. Many activities were successfully transferred to the Internet and if you want o keep and win customers you need to deliver services online. Therefore more and more companies are looking for the best solutions for their clients and products which could be served online. Virtual Branch is a solution dedicated to the financial sector. It’s a modern platform used for remote service of bank customers and was created in response to the market demand. We've discussed its innovative functionalities and development process with Karol Stępień, Head of Banking and Fintech at 10Clouds.

Marta Klepka: How the work on the product is going, do you have the first version of Virtual Branch? What kind of functions does it have?

Karol Stępień: The product does what it states - it moves all service and client acquisition activities to the virtual space - so that the customers, current or future, no longer need to visit a physical banking branch.

This service is targeted at B2B and B2C customers, it is a great help for clients because under normal circumstances the client has to go to the bank, find the right person to get helped with a simple task, or maybe need to find another person for another different task, find a parking space, which takes time and is very frustrating.

To stay in traffic, look for a parking lot or person with the right competencies across many physical banking branches. We wanted to give the ned clients get the ability to get great service that could be delivered completely online. The solution combines the competencies of many people, saves time, and makes the customer even more satisfied, because all the activities that he wanted to perform can be done safely, in one place, on one internet platform.

We created a set of microservices that enable the banks to service the end customer properly in a completely virtual space. We were also able to provide a way to conclude all sorts of customer activities online thanks to the functionalities of online signatures and video authentication.

At the moment we have the first prototype, which means that some activities related to services for financial institutions may move to this virtual environment. Virtual Branch is available in a web version now, we will start working on the mobile version soon.

Virtual Branch is also considered a sales enablement tool. How do you really make the sales process a bit more customer-friendly? How to improve the satisfaction of online banking clients, and encourage them to buy?

What Amazon is doing is very inspiring, I really like the statement in their leadership code of conduct and I totally agree with it “ start with the customer and reverse engineer the process”. That's why we made sure our sales process was engaging and had the client's needs in the first place.

I personally don’t know anybody that gets excited about getting credit - it is simply not a purchase that gives buyers joy. The truth in the banking industry is that even though the way we as consumers want to buy has changed dramatically the way the banks are selling did not.

Many salespeople still act like they did 10 years ago. The templates in PowerPoint with Times New Roman font will not be interesting anymore! If customers don't recieve any kind of attractive communication they focus on the price and simply will go with the cheapest solutions. Making things different and interesting can provide additional value for them.

For example, when we talk to banks now we show them how the virtual branch could look for them in the branding area - with a fully customized video room and other features. A very important role is played by communication with the client and distinguishing the way of presenting the offer from the market competitors.

This makes customers excited and is visual proof of what the future could look like. So re-engaging excitement in the sales process simply enables a growth loop! Today it's essential to reach your customers in the way they wish, modern and tailored to their needs.

Virtual Branch is one of the first products in Central Europe which is created with the help of customers, by technology companies, banks, and FinTechs. Could you please tell us more about the process it was built?

The methodology where you co-create the end solution with the client is getting more and more attention because thanks to it clients won’t have the experience of being sold to but actually getting something they want to buy. We wanted to fully benefit from that approach.

So together with our partners, Pexip and Mastercard, we tried to discover what financial institutions really expect that lies under the “Virtual Branch” expression. We received this interest from banks in co-creating this solution with us so we just leverage our collective knowledge.

We started by discussing their expectations, customers they wanted to target, and processes they wanted to digitize. Then we talked to employees to learn about obstacles, risks, and expectations they had. We were very cautious also to take into consideration their fears of digitization and its influence on the stability of their jobs. Virtual Branch for us does not mean we have now robots responsible for contacting customers but rather we are improving the overall experiences for both sides. This is a good case about experiences, both employees and customers, how the client feels while interacting and how the person on the other side also feels.

Thank you for your time I am really interested to find out more about the implementations for Virtual Branch.

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