NAB said its adoption of digital technologies such as messaging and video conferencing is irrevocably changing the way customers interact with banking services.
Director of Personal Banking Group Rachel Slade mentionned mortgage lending is one of the areas that has seen the most dramatic changes.
âBefore the pandemic hit in 2020, no NAB mortgage appointments took place via video,â Slade said.
âNow, over 25% is retained via Zoom, which represents thousands of video conversations every month.â
Slade noted that internationally, some banks have handled up to 80 percent of online appointments; Although she did not say that NAB would reach those specific volumes, Slade did note that the video-based dates would continue indefinitely.
She also said that NAB launched “an online mortgage appointment scheduling tool” in September last year, which made the process “as easy as reserving a table at a restaurant.”
âIn a strong housing market, quick access to support becomes even more important,â Slade said.
Also on personal home loans, Slade said NAB had cut approval times “by 30 percent, with some clients getting unconditional approvals in less than an hour.”
âBy the end of September, we plan to give 1 in 3 customers unconditional approvals within the hour,â she said.
“We aim to make 60-minute unconditional approvals the norm.”
Outside of loans, NAB said it recorded 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 in the world to launch Google Messaging. Since its launch in November, the bank has held more than 5,000 conversations through the platform.
NAB also uses WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to respond to customer inquiries.
Slade pointed to an independent study that showed the use of mobile banking apps increased from 35% in March 2019 to 59% in September 2020.
She also said that NAB’s partnership with digital receipt fintech Slyp will see physical receipts become “a thing of the past.”
âThere have been a lot of changes over the past 12 months,â she said.
“We are working hard to find the next innovation that will make banking simpler and easier for our customers.”
Michelle Sherwood, Digital Director of NAB, said iTnews earlier this month, the bank had “more than 3.2 million conversations with customers on all of our digital messaging platforms” last year, more than three times more than the previous 12 months.
âWe 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 to them,â said Sherwood.
In the bank’s half-year results, NAB reported seeing a 13% increase in customer inquiries resolved through its virtual assistant since September 2020, from 600,000 initial holds to 873,000 in March.
NAB also said that since the launch of Google Messaging, 80% of inquiries are resolved without further escalation.