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Augmented Reality and Virtual reality in Banking

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  • Keyur Bhalavat
  • September 26, 2019
  • 8 min to read
Augmented Reality and Virtual reality in Banking

The world is all about competition, technological evolution, and never-ending needs, which, just like every other sector, is affecting the banking sector too. They are also embracing new techniques and technologies to match up to the world. Some years ago, this whole concept would have felt like fiction, but not anymore. The banks worldwide have started experimenting and trying new aspects. Almost all banks have an app and a website. Though the truth is that this isn’t enough to be a part of this transition, one needs a bit more to have an edge. Hence, paving the way for Augmented Reality (AR) to present a never seen change in the sector of banking.

Augmented Reality in Banking

Augmented reality can quickly help one to locate nearby ATMs and bank branches in any area with the help of a mobile app. It also provides info related to payment gateways, budgeting, data visualization, and account management. AR can act as an aid to improve financial literacy among the population. With the technology of AR, we can create an app for car and home loans too. In case, banking service providers are planning to launch a new product, and an AR app can be a great solution. It may turn beneficial in the process of recruitment for the banking sector, as well. Given below are examples of these types of banks which have started using AR in their daily schedule.

Examples of AR in banking
  1. Axis Bank , India One of India’s leading banks has adopted augmented reality too. They got into AR quite early with their mobile banking app offering numerous augmented reality related services. Customers can use the AR View option and get details about the nearest branches and ATMs along with the directions.
  2. Westpac Bank , New Zealand They launched their Augmented Reality Mobile app with a lot of interactive features that are revolutionising the banking sector. They created platforms for AR payment gateway, AR Account Management, Budgeting, and much more. With this app, one can quickly scan their credit or debit card through the phone’s camera.
  3. Citi Bank With the use of Microsoft’s HoloLens technology, Citibank created a 2D-3D integrated system that lets financial traders envision real-time financial data and records through holograms. It also allows them to track past trends and monitor stock indices, which helps them make business decisions based on these aspects. Customers can also share these AR data visualizations in real-time with their team and analyze the markets.

(Source: Citibank website)

  • Commonwealth Bank The Commonwealth bank designed an AR Property Guide app to provide insights on Real Estate and Home Loans. This app helps customers to scan a property near them in real-time and have access to all the details like capital growth trends, property hotspots, median price, buying/selling conditions, and suburb profiles revealing demographics. Hence, allowing buyers to go through an in-depth check of whether it would suit them as well as the location.
  • Standard Chartered To pique the interest of the customers in China, Standard Chartered an out of the box idea. They introduced an app known as Breeze Living, which is an AR-enabled application for sharing discounts and coupons. It would enable customers to be a part of an open social network through which they can share offers and coupons from all across China.

  1. BNP Paribas Fortis It isn’t just AR, but even VR is an excellent advantage to the banking sector. Bringing to the table novelty and the new version of banking. The only difference being, VR doesn’t combine the digital and physical world, but it can help in case of services such as virtual cards and banks, etc. Although there are certain limitations, despite that VR is quite helpful for the banking sector. Let’s discuss this in a little detail:
Virtual Reality in Banking

As we think of VR, banking is never the first thing that pops in our head. The truth is financial institutions, too, can utilize it to create memorable experiences that stay with the customers. It is a great way to change the dreary world of numbers into something unique and fun.

A lot of banks have already started experimenting. They have created VR apps that depict the banking services/features in artificial 3D form. Some are using it to make it easier to manage finances, whereas others as a tool for marketing.

Let’s figure out a few other VR applications that are currently in use.

  1. BNP Paribas In June 2017, they presented a VR app that provided access to retail banking users regarding their transaction records and account activity. They came up with another app that offers a guided tour of steps involved with buying a home.As part of the collaboration with a French start-up, they developed a VR experience, “the POD” to help real estate investors to view their projects through a virtual tour of the properties, even the ones that are under construction.Other than this, a VR app known as “We are Tennis Virtual Reality Challenge” was created for the French Open. It gave the tennis fans the chance to enhance their tennis skills through the game.
  2. Bank of Kuwait With the help of a VR design, the concept of the ‘Branch of the Future’ came into life. The credit for the creation goes to a consultant who was working for this bank. He developed a 3D virtual tour of the bank. It started as a survey, where the consultant got to know intimately about the leadership team that helped him gather some insights and inputs. With these details, he designed the VR vignettes. It had a substantial positive impact and not something easily achievable.

Hence, proving that AR and VR are slowly redefining the entire banking experience.

Virtual Banks

Virtual Banking is all about customers having access to banking and its services online without the need to actually go to the bank in person. It allows a customer to check transaction details, secure loans, withdraw or deposit money and pay all kinds of bills quickly. A few examples are ATMs, electronic clearing service scheme, magnetic ink character recognition code (MICR), RTGS, electronic fund transfer scheme, and centralized fund management schemes, etc.

Among the various advantages of virtual banking, a vital one is that the transactions are easy to check on a real-time basis without having to wait for a day or month. As compared to traditional banking, this cost of handling these transactions is low, and even the charges are less due to a decrease in overhead expenses.

AR in other Financial Services
  1. AR in Financial Trading for Data visualizationOne of the most significant issues faced by a lot of financial institutions is the one they go through while comprehending and analyzing millions of data points for making accurate decisions. The data visualization applications should be created in a way that provides access to financial professionals to understand the underlying intricacies and correlations that lies in the data with accuracy. For now, thanks to a graphical representation, the data visualization tools are doing the job of an analyst easier. Though, at certain times, evaluating and comparing becomes complicated.
  2. AR in Financial Services for PaymentsWe are all well aware of the potential of online payments and how they make it easier to carry on with making payments wherever or whenever. With newer techniques knocking, it’s again time for a makeover.Shopping at anyplace anytime is now an old trend, the new picture is different. One can wear an AR-powered headset or maybe use a smartphone-based AR app and pick their favourite clothes and pay without using any credit cards.
  3. AR in Insurance ServicesWith the introduction of devices and complex equipment being insured in industrial settings and the need to make quick assessments of weather-related damage – the insurance industry is definitely in need of solutions to overcome such challenges.Insurance companies can utilize AR technology, too, especially when it comes to fieldwork. The environment that an insurance professional is a part of can easily be analyzed, collected and recorded on a real-time basis. Hence, making the work more comfortable and better.


Like every other sector, the banking industry is going through a metamorphosis too. It is a fantastic opportunity for these financial institutions to embrace new tools and techniques that come with AR. Not exaggerating, but very soon, AR will become an indispensable part of the banking world. AR is the future, and it’s high time we accept it.

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