Wow. It’s hard to hold back the excitement I have today from attending Tangerine Bank’s “Future of Banking” press launch. Peter Aceto, President and CEO of Tangerine, shared how voice banking capabilities, including a conversational mobile virtual assistant and voice biometrics technology, are going to transform banking by driving new customers to the Tangerine brand and strengthening the relationship with existing customers. Peter described how companies need to continuously innovate to survive and identified mobile as the current battleground to win over consumers.
Peter shared an example that illustrated the challenge that businesses are faced with today. He mentioned how Blockbuster, the titan of movie rentals with its formerly ever present network of branches, perished when its business model was transformed by Netflix through innovation. Innovation rendered a sprawling network of branches irrelevant to the consumer, and acted as the anchor that prevented Blockbuster from moving forward with the changes it needed to survive. I believe that we’re witnessing a similar shift in the financial industry, and Tangerine seems poised to lead the way when it comes to Canadian banking.
The specifics of Tangerine’s voice banking capabilities were presented by Charaka Kithulegoda, Tangerine’s CIO. Customers will be able to pay bills, look up information and authenticate to the Tangerine mobile app with their voice. The example use case portrayed in a Tangerine video shared was a customer asking the Tangerine mobile app: “How much did I spend at my favorite restaurant last month” and the mobile virtual assistant responded with: “Two-hundred and four dollars,” to which the customers responded with a sharp “Yikes”. Beyond being humorous, I found that the sample conversation truly illustrated the power of the virtual assistant. It goes beyond the existing functionality within the mobile app, or even a website or a branch employee. Such an interaction is simple, natural and personalized to the customer.
Julie Ask, vice president and senior research analyst at Forrester Research, also expressed this shared perspective during the launch event. Companies need to go beyond doing what they have done previously in other channels and apply it to mobile. She stressed that they need to leverage mobile to conduct their business differently. This, I felt, was a profound insight and one that clearly Tangerine has internalized. Another key insight that resonated with me is how mobile is accelerating the speed at which customer expectations evolve.
With Tangerine’s move to offer voice banking to their customers, this innovative financial institution joins a growing list of organizations that are transforming their industries with a conversational mobile experience, such as Domino’s Pizza, ING Netherlands and USAA. As Peter Aceto mentioned in his opening remarks, it’s an exciting time to be alive.
Check out the white paper “Driving Loyalty with Virtual Assistants” below to learn more.