Solarity Credit UnionIn 2016, Solarity Credit Union in Washington State began a much-needed digital transformation revolving around a new “digital engagement center” where the institution’s lending specialists would be housed. The goal in centralizing them was to more effectively and efficiently serve members across branches. The specialists were also renamed “guides” to better reflect their role in the process.

Since guides were not always in-house at every branch, the digital engagement center gave all members access to a guide no matter which branch they visited. Prior to this, if the specialist had been out that day, or the branch simply didn’t have a specialist, Solarity would have to reschedule or ask the member to go to another location — an inconvenience that could damage customer loyalty and trust. With lending specialists centralized, the branches never need to turn away a member. Solarity also found that having the guides in one place allowed collaborative learning and training to happen organically, and team support was always close at hand.

Of course, removing the specialists from the branches eliminated the personal connection with members. So Solarity engaged Vidyo to bring back the face-to-face encounters that brought a personal touch to its lending process. But the deployment achieved much more than that. Ralph Cumbee, Solarity’s chief experience officer, told us that the Vidyo solution delivered many other benefits, including creating a more efficient loan process, resulting in higher member satisfaction and increasing the lending team’s ability to close loans by 42%.

But we had to ask: “With all these great benefits, Ralph, why didn’t Solarity introduce video into the business sooner?”

“Financial institutions are worse than the generals who are always fighting the last war. The way they’ve always done things is the way they see forward to do things — they just want to do it faster,” replied Cumbee. “We still see financial institutions building expensive full-service offices and spending a lot of money rather than considering alternatives to build presence in different markets. So what drove us was our digital transformation — establishing the digital engagement center — and the need to have a more efficient, less costly solution. It was just a matter of timing.”

Cumbee is correct; timing is everything. According to Vidyo’s 2018 Video Banking Survey, financial service institutions buy in to the concept of video banking, yet are slow to implement it. In fact, the survey notes that fewer than 20% of banks already have a fully operational video service. The main reasons that financial institutions haven’t yet deployed video technology are:

· Implementing video technology is not a business priority for the organization (62%).
· The organization lacks IT resources to work on the implementation (40%).

To make video technology a business priority, financial institutions must tie it to their key performance indicators (KPIs), and management needs to see the positive impact the technology will have on the business. Non-users don’t know how dramatically it can increase efficiencies and save resources — in headcount, money, and time.

For instance, Solarity can better determine whether and where staff needs to be reallocated since Vidyo offers any branch the ability to leverage the digital engagement center guides. Solarity no longer needs to to hire a loan specialist or manager for every branch. Guides’ call volume and interaction time can be monitored just like any other contact center metric.

Financial institutions using an online video service save time for consumers and members, from driving time to the branch to their waiting time, especially in smaller branches with limited staff.

Regarding the IT challenge, Vidyo’s cloud-based solutions don’t require a financial institution’s IT team to manage the infrastructure. Vidyo’s team handles the technical management when necessary; they become part of the financial institution’s team, forming a reliable partnership.

You may not realize up front the many benefits that implementing video technology will afford your organization, but ultimately, it all comes down to the member experience. After a 70-year-old customer completed a loan application during a Vidyo session, he stood in the branch’s lobby and exclaimed, “Wow, that was really cool! It felt like the future!”


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