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Lloyds Bank and Halifax customers can receive face-to-face mortgage advice via video link following a successful trial of the service.
Customers who are unable to or prefer not to travel to a branch can opt to meet with a mortgage consultant on their computer. The bank said telephone appointments are rapidly being replaced by video calls, with a third of appointments that would normally be done over the phone now taking place over video link.
In a 2015 pilot of the video-based mortgage service, 95% of customers described the experience as “good” or “excellent”.
Some Lloyds Bank branches are now piloting the use of the video service for customers in branch to increase the availability of local advisors during busy periods.
“Buying a house can be a stressful time for many people, so for those who are unable or choose not to visit a branch, but who still prefer a face-to-face conversation, this video service is a fantastic channel for them to use. It enables us to connect,” said David Oldfield, group director, retail and consumer finance, at Lloyds.
Falling connectivity prices and the wide availability of broadband have made video a genuine business tool.
Another financial service provider that offers video-based mortgage consultations is Nationwide Building Society, after installing video equipment in more than 60 branches in 2014. Nationwide expected the service to reduce waiting times and increase access because it allowed customers to meet a consultant at a time that suits them.
Developments in video-conferencing come at a time when most banks are reducing the number of branches they operate. This has, in turn, been brought about by increased availability and use of financial technology for digital services.
In 2015, the government and banks – through industry body the British Bankers Association (BBA) – agreed a set of rules that means the last bank branch in town might close for some communities, so long as there are alternative means of banking. Video-conferencing could be one alternative.
Read more about video-conferencing
- Users of video-conferencing technology want the industry to offer one standard so tools from different suppliers can become interoperable.
- Nationwide Building Society rolls out video mortgage consultation equipment to more than 60 branches.
- Enterprises are turning to service providers for managed video-conferencing services to mitigate risk and cut operational costs.