From distance learning to virtual doctor visits, our ever-growing digital society has caused significant changes to how we live, work, and play. How we handle our finances is no exception, with many banks closing physical branch locations in favor of providing digital services to a growing body of customers. While these services can offer 24/7 convenience to customers, the expansion of digital banking runs the risk of leaving those used to conducting business in the traditional manner with diminished access to banking resources. Many traditional customers are less likely to own a smartphone or tablet or have access to broadband internet connectivity, both critical tools needed to participate in virtual services.
The financial industry has responded to the need for more inclusive online services in a number of significant ways, from launching direct-to-customer educational initiatives, to partnering with community-based organizations, to working to expand access to connectivity and technology to underserved populations. HSBC U.K. recently announced its latest effort to improve access to its digital banking services, launching the ‘HSBC@HOME’ initiative on February 25th.
Designed to partner customers with specially trained HSBC branch colleagues, the program involves proactive outreach to customers likely to need additional education and assistance in transitioning to mobile and online banking. According to Jackie Uhi, HSBC U.K.’s Head of Network, “The program, which will be delivered across our U.K. branches, covers everything from how to register for our digital services and what you can do via the mobile app and online banking, to guarding yourself against fraud.”
Beginning with live virtual learning experiences, the company intends to eventually expand into parallel in-person sessions taking place within branches, community centers, and town halls. By offering a wide variety of information and multiple ways for customers to access trained professional assistance, the HSBC@HOME program seeks to empower customers to comfortably and confidently manage their finances in the digital age.
Ultimately, the growth of digital banking will benefit both banks and their customers, enabling banks to expand their reach and scope of services without the additional overhead of maintaining physical locations. With educational programs such as these, this scope will spread even further, ensuring that digital banking services are accessible to all.