Featured Article from Conferencing

Bank of America Brings Video Conferencing to Branches

May 08, 2017

We’re officially in the Digital Age and, slowly but surely, different aspects of our daily lives are becoming computerized. Back in 2000 people were concerned that robots were going to take over the world, and still today there are concerns of AI replacing humans in certain jobs altogether. We’ve already seen machines replace people in grocery stores with self checkout and on the road with self driving cars. Now, thanks to Bank of America, you will be able to add self service banking to the list as well.

According to The Financial Brand, Bank of America is experimenting with completely automated branches. The hope for these locations is to lower Bank of America’s footprint by making the banks smaller and having no actual employees. Strange as it may seem, Bank of America has already opened one of these “robo branches” in Minneapolis, and two other in Denver.

You may me wondering how these robo branches are possible—banking needs to be secure, and it’s hard to imagine machine giving sensitive information the discrepancy it needs. Well, the key to these branches is video conferencing. The robo branches consist of nothing but an ATM and a meeting room for video conferences to take place. Anyone who wants to participate in a video conference can simply make an appointment on the Bank of America mobile app, and then arrive on time for their conference. In order to enter the video conferencing room, users must swipe their Bank of America ATM or debit card.

These video conferences are essentially a one on one conversation with a bank employee who works in a remote location. Bank of America hopes that this service will allow people to easily discuss important issues, such as getting a mortgage or planning for retirement. The goal is to make banking as convenient as possible, while also allowing Bank of America to run smaller operations.

This could be a win-win for everyone involved if Bank of America can ensure that all security measures are being taken. There are still some things that could go wrong, which is why Bank of America has committed to having on site “digital ambassadors” until operations run smoothly. That’s certainly a comfort, but it may take awhile for people to warm up to the idea. Then again, self service is a staple of the Digital Age, so this could turn out to be one of the best moves Bank of America’s ever made.

Edited by Maurice Nagle