UC & Video Forge Ahead in Financial Services

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We have previously mentioned about the explosive growth of video and the video market, especially in Healthcare. Forecasters are also talking about the ways in which video will transform Banking and Financial Services in the near future. We have already seen the proliferation of web video due to conferencing applications such as Web Ex and Skype for Business. Now, analysts are predicting even more exciting applications for the Financial Services.

As part of the Unified Communications (UC) suite, video has become a useful tool in the financial sector. Used often to document verbal contracts, for quality assurance with customer service, and for best practices in employee training and continuing education, video and video surveillance is firmly rooted in protocols today. Typically, it is also used to reduce travel and hold meetings without thought to borders or time constraints, therefore, increasing the speed at which business gets done—a plus for the bottom line.

Expanding video services in the industry will allow more to be done, especially after regular business hours. For example, online banking makes the teller obsolete, but enhanced video services can create the illusion of a virtual office with a teller to interact with, making the experience more personalized if not more pleasant for the customer. The new frontier would allow questions to be answered outside of banking hours, possibly opening new revenue streams. You can have a financial consultation with your personal broker or banker without leaving your home or office. How about a virtual assistant at the ATM? All of this is possible with video. While voice and the internet are the norms today, many think video communication will be the next wave.

What that means for the sector, i.e., video banking, is that like voice, end-users and consumers will expect and demand, a level of quality that is similar or surpasses what is currently in use. Technical specifications in that sense would be similar to the approach taken with voice. Avoidance of issues such as interruptions, latency or jitter are just as important with video. Monitoring video traffic will be crucial to maintaining the Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) of video. Video demands a lot of bandwidth and Traffic Analysis to right-size bandwidth will be critical.

These type of network assessments are going to further enhance the user experience. A company might be considering a SIP migration and sizing bandwidth requirements for video over SIP trunking. This strategy may be worth considering since it can drive down costs while maintaining the desired level of video quality.

Security is also a consideration for using video and may affect what UC applications a company will choose to encrypt and secure. Video recording can be used to record full conversations or a portion of any conversation. It then stores it with a customer ID or other identifiable information that can be retrieved quickly if needed. For privacy concerns, Active Compliance can be implemented to keep individuals or groups from communicating over video per company policies. There are other uses for security where video can be utilized, including authorization and authenticating users visually.

The Financial Services industry can access video in ways now that will transform and disrupt their market. They must think carefully about modernizing standard business practices and using video toward every advantage, such as differentiation and gaining the competitive edge while avoiding the pitfalls. It can improve customer service, or it could further alienate customers from businesses if the video interface has too many imperfections. With the skyrocketing growth of video predicted, it is only natural to assume it will come about due to innovations such as these across all sectors, including Financial Services.

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Darlene Jackson is a published writer with many years of experience in digital publishing, advertising, and public relations. Her diverse assignments include stints with Chicago Public Media, The Chicago Tribune, and various print and online media and communication outlets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Northwestern University.

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