Innovations in financial technology have been occurring for decades. However, new developments in fintech seem to come at a much faster pace in recent years, thanks in large part to innovations in other areas. For example, mobile devices have made it possible for entrepreneurs to start companies that allow users to perform essential banking tasks via their phones.
In the past, this blog has covered some of the various ways in which augmented reality tech will expand the potential of fintech. Now it’s time to explore how advances in virtual reality will also provide fintech startups with the opportunity to better serve their customers. In the near future, the marriage of fintech and VR may lead to services like the following:
Virtual Bank Meetings
Fintech has often been praised for helping people who are underbanked and unbanked gain access to financial services that may have been previously unavailable to them. However, despite this, for many individuals who are underbanked, lack of education or resources continue to restrict their ability to fully utilize traditional financial institutions.
Many people simply can’t access such institutions on a regular basis, whether due to a disability, unique living situation, or related factors. These individuals aren’t able to visit bank branches in person to make deposits or open accounts.
Virtual reality and fintech can change that. Soon it will be possible to “meet” with bank staff from the comfort of your own home. By wearing a VR headset and running a fintech program, you will be able to transform your surroundings into a virtual bank, where staff members will help you set up an account, learn how to use their services, and more. Although existing teleconference technology can simulate this type of meeting, VR will build on the capabilities of such tools.
Bringing fintech and virtual reality technology together won’t just benefit consumers. It will also give those currently working in the financial services industry the opportunity to perform tasks with greater efficiency.
For instance, investment bankers must evaluate large amounts of data in order to make informed decisions about potential investments. Thus, they need programs that help them visualize said data as clearly as possible. VR technology will soon allow them to escape from their desks and interact with data in three-dimensional virtual spaces.
This will make it much easier to consume the necessary information quickly, while also identifying which pieces of data are irrelevant. As a result, investment bankers and similar professionals will be much more likely to make appropriate decisions for their clients.
Financial services professionals are always learning. Banks must constantly train their employees so they can complete tasks in efficiently and maintain compliance with ever-changing regulations. This can be a very cumbersome and expensive process. Typically, employees all meet at a central location for these training sessions.
That won’t be necessary in the near future. Banks will soon have the ability to train their employees using virtual reality programs. Bankers will simply put on headsets and “attend” training sessions without ever leaving the office. This will help save time and money. It also benefits customers. The easier it is for your bank to train its employees, the easier it is for your bank to offer you new or improved services.
Fintech has seemingly limitless potential applications in the world of retail. Thanks to VR, startups may soon be able to replicate the experience of browsing a brick-and-mortar shop without sacrificing the convenience of ecommerce.
While ecommerce has certainly given brands the opportunity to reach customers in their homes, there’s been a trade-off: customers are less likely to randomly stumble upon items they’d like to purchase. Most online shoppers have at least a basic idea of what they’re looking for, and they simply don’t browse the same way they would if they were visiting a mall.
Virtual reality will change that. Imagine putting on a headset and entering an entirely artificial version of your favorite store. Instead of restricting yourself to browsing one department at a time, like you normally would when shopping online, you can easily “walk” throughout the shop, getting a bigger sense of what types of products the company has to offer.
For brands, this makes it easier to display items that ecommerce customers might otherwise miss. For shoppers, this makes it easier to discover new products.
As always, these innovations represent only a small fraction of what’s to come when fintech companies start embracing VR. For anyone with even a minor interest in these industries, the next few years will be very exciting.