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Standard Bank to trial run virtual reality

By Isabelle Coetzee

By mid-October, a Gauteng-based Standard Bank branch will offer customers and staff an opportunity to explore their products through virtual reality (VR).

The banking sector, which can be dull and abstract, has considered the incorporation of VR in order to create a deeper understanding of their products, as well as liven up their offerings.

This can be done through wearing a head-mounted device, called a VR headset, and looking around a virtual room or world, while experiencing visual and auditory stimuli.

In relation to this, Lunga Siyo, executive head of eCommerce at Standard Bank, said they decided to create something that will both excite and educate their customers.

Siyo explained that the bank plans to create a real life experience for their customers when they use the VR headsets.

“They will be taken into a digital world where they will experience our digital channels through an intuitive experience. It will explain services that matter to customers, and allow them to do banking on the go, aligned to what’s next on their journey,” he said.

Standard Bank will run an initiation test at a single branch in Gauteng, where four headsets will be made available to both staff and customers.

According to Siyo, customers will not be charged for this additional service, and their aim is to make customers fully understand and make use of their offerings.

Standard Bank is currently in the process of converting their digital content into a VR format for their trial run in October.

“The initiation offering is at our branches but you never know what the future might hold, especially now that this technology is becoming much more matured and customer adoption is increasing,” said Siyo.

At the same time, Nedbank is also exploring the introduction of VR to its digital banking platform.

“This is part of Nedbank’s commitment to delivering client-centric banking that is wholly ‘digitally enabled’,” said Simon Marland, head of business IT enablement at Nedbank Retail.

“This ultimately talks to us delivering easier, better, smarter, and more meaningful ways for our clients to do banking with us,” he added.

Nedbank has not released any clear dates for when VR will be incorporated in their organisation, or how this will be done.

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