With its immersive experiences, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in the finance industry will allow various institutions to offer the ultimate customer experience, thus enabling them to thrive amidst cutthroat competition.
Encompassing various sectors and subsectors that primarily deal with money management, the financial industry indeed plays a prominent role in the global economy. The industry ever-increasingly bustles with activities like lending, investing, managing, and securing financial assets. And it is always under pressure to carry out these activities in a more efficient and streamlined manner. Along with the rising competition in the market to get better, financial players also face equal stress to meet the demands and expectations of consumers by enhancing their experience. And hence, it’s easy to see why the industry is always leading when it comes to embracing new-age, cutting-edge, and innovative technologies. With the help of big data analytics, AI, ML, cloud computing, and blockchain, the financial sector has been evolving to offer increasingly customer-centric solutions. Financial organizations have always been the forerunners in adopting every tech trend that has emerged in the marketplace.
Lately, there has been a lot of buzz around immersive technologies. The promise and potential of immersive technologies to offer exceptional user experiences by augmenting digital elements onto the real environment or completely generating a virtual space are truly remarkable. As financial enterprises seek greater user satisfaction, adopting AR and VR makes sense in the finance space. And unsurprisingly, the opportunity of AR and VR in the finance industry has already been seized by industry behemoths. Goldman Sachs, the renown American multinational investment bank and financial services company, believes that VR market will be worth 80 billion dollars by the year 2025. With financial giants being optimistic about the immersive technologies, it is pretty much obvious that AR and VR in the finance industry will bring in revolutionary change and cause massive disruptions in all aspects of financial services.
Before we dive deep to understand the potential impact of AR and VR in the finance industry, it is mandatory that we comprehend the meaning of AR and VR.
Augmented Reality, abbreviated as AR, is a technology that superimposes virtual elements onto the physical environment. As the name suggests, it actually augments artificially-generated components, which enhances the user experience. Remember Snapchat filters? On the other hand, Virtual Reality, abbreviated as VR, is a technology that blocks users off the physical world and immerses them in a different virtual surrounding altogether. In other words, it tricks and manipulates the user’s mind to believe a 3D computer-generated environment as real. Both, AR and VR hold immense promise and potential. But how is it connected to the finance sector? Read on to know how.
One of the significant challenges that financial institutions face is while analyzing and comprehending millions of data points for making accurate decisions. Data visualization applications should be such that they should enable financial professionals to interpret and perceive the underlying intricacies and correlations that lies in the data with precision. As of now, with the help of graphical representation, the data visualization tools are making an analyst’s job much easier. But at times when things get complicated, analyzing, comprehending, and comparing various data variables to make a decision becomes tricky and quite confusing. AR and VR, known for ultimate immersive experiences, can do wonders in offering the best data visualization experience. Fidelity Labs, the R&D and innovation unit of Fidelity Investments, uses VR to immerse investors in a virtual world called ‘StockCity.’ Here, the traders get an opportunity to analyze and comprehend data about stocks in a 3D format. Also, SalesForce, an innovative CRM platform, uses Oculus Rift and VR to expand and enhance the UX capabilities of users for data visualization.
Financial services institutions are already tapping into the potential of online payments, allowing their customers to make payments from anywhere, anytime. But with modern technologies coming into the finance space, this area needs a makeover again. For example, we all know that shopping on the go has been in trend lately. AR has brought in new exciting and chin-scratching innovation in this space, taking it a step further. Wearing an AR-powered headset or using a smartphone-based AR app, customers can pick the required clothes and make payments without using credit cards. And all of this happens without users having to leave the virtual world. Partnering with Qualcomm Technologies and Osterhout Design Group (ODG), “Mastercard now allows customers to log in to the mobile payment app Masterpass by scanning their iris.” Check out this video to get a clear comprehension of the same.
For analyzing large volumes of data, comprehending the underlying patterns, and using the data to make accurate and precise financial decisions, the newbies are trained in their early days. Now imagine, what if these newcomers are handed with data visualization tools that are powered by AR or VR? By immersing freshers in an interactive environment that showcases the diagrams, charts, or graphs in 3D format, they are given an opportunity to perceive and grasp complex concepts and aspects of financial services. Recruitment is another vital area where immersive technologies can empower the financial industry. First off, VR will eliminate the need for the scheduling of live interviews. By providing interviewers a virtual avatar, financial companies can test and hire many employees at the same time, thereby reducing the time and money spent. Secondly, the hired candidates can be given a chance to take virtual office tours to understand the work culture of the company without actually visiting.
So far, mobile banking has been among the revolutionary and disrupting transformations in the banking sector. Without any human interaction, we are now able to transfer money, check our bank statement, and get our doubts clarified. But, when it comes to opening a new bank account, we still have to visit banks, get our documents verified, and have some interaction with bank employees. Now, let’s explore the power of VR in banking. With a virtual branch, users can visit their respective banks while they are at home. By wearing VR glasses, the user can navigate around the bank, talk to advisors, and get their work done without actually visiting the branch. And to our surprise, a virtual bank branch is not just a future projection; it is a present reality.
Widiba, an Italian online bank, has launched a new VR banking system, where, with the help of VR headset and a mobile app, customers can enter a virtual branch and carry out their banking operations. Though immersive technologies are still in their infancy, they have come a very long way already. This gives credence to the fact that AR and VR in the finance industry will have incandescent adolescence. Looking at the current advances, AR and VR seem to be the undeniable future game changers for the financial sectors.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.