NAB said its embrace of digital technologies such as messaging and videoconferencing is irrevocably changing the way customers interact with banking services.
Group executive of personal banking Rachel Slade said that home lending was one area that had seen the most dramatic changes.
“Before the pandemic hit in 2020, no NAB home lending appointments took place via video,” Slade said.
“Now, more than 25 percent are held over Zoom – that’s thousands of conversations over video every month.”
Slade noted that internationally, some banks ran up to 80 percent of appointments online; while she did not say NAB would hit those specific volumes, Slade noted that video-based appointments would continue indefinitely.
She also said that NAB launched “an online home loan appointment booking tool” in September last year that made the process “as simple as booking a table at a restaurant.”
“In a strong housing market, quick access to support becomes even more important,” Slade said.
Still on personal home loans, Slade said NAB had cut approval times “by 30 percent, with some customers gaining unconditional approvals in less than an hour.”
“By the end of September, we expect to be giving unconditional approvals to 1 in 3 customers within the hour,” she said.
“We aim to make 60-minute unconditional approvals the norm.”
Outside of lending, NAB said it had clocked up 1 million live and virtual assistant chats in six months.
Slade said NAB was the first bank in Australia, and one of the first major banks globally, to launch Google Messaging. Since its November launch, the bank has held more than 5000 conversations through the platform.
NAB is also using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to assist with customer enquiries.
Slade pointed to independent research which showed mobile banking app usage increased from 35 percent in March 2019 to 59 percent in September 2020.
She also said NAB’s partnership with digital receipt fintech Slyp will see physical receipts become “a thing of the past”.
“There’s been plenty of change over the past 12 months,” she said.
“We are working hard to find the next innovation that will keep make banking simpler and easier for our customers.”
NAB digital executive Michelle Sherwood told iTnews earlier this month that the bank had “more than 3.2 million conversations with customers across all our digital messaging platforms” last year, more than three times as many as the previous 12 months.
“We want to serve our customers well and Google Business Messaging allows our bankers to help our customers in a channel that is familiar and convenient for them,” Sherwood said.
In the bank’s half yearly results NAB reported it saw a 13 percent increase in customer enquiries solved through its virtual assistant since September 2020, from an initial 600,000 conservations to 873,000 by March.
NAB also stated that since launching google messaging, 80 percent of enquires are resolved without further escalation.