Virtual Branch: in 24 hours digital wins over social distance

Fabrick and Bandyer have launched Virtual Branch, a solution that allows banks and corporates to continue to be operational in the relationship with the client, despite the restrictions due to the coronavirus. It is a service created to meet the needs of companies and banks in an emergency but not an end in itself and not even limited in time because at the conclusion of the period of social distance the product created by the partnership with Bandyer can be branded and used in everyday life as a useful alternative.

In this double interview Filippo Rocca (Bandyer) and Alberto Mussinatto (Fabrick) tell us about the potential of Virtual Branch and what can be achieved thanks to open banking and an open ecosystem like Fabrick’s one.

Filippo Rocca, CEO and Founder of Bandyer

What is the Virtual Branch solution for? Who is it for?

The Virtual Branch solution is aimed at all the realities that are currently in difficulty in the relationship with their customers and need a fast and simple response to enable an effective communication from the digital point of view, opening a collaborative channel and not only communicative. For those who have fallen behind on this aspect, Virtual Branch represents an opportunity to make a quick digital leap forward, a necessary leap to ensure the continuation of business activities today. This emergency will change behavioral and consumption patterns in the long term, not only in the short term. Many critical issues will emerge, but also many opportunities. Those who have not yet developed digital channels will have to meet the demands of their customers who will increasingly want to be able to operate remotely and avoid physically visiting the company to use their services. Virtual Branch is the solution to this problem.

What is different from other video collaboration solutions?

Bandyer does not aim to create a product of UCC, unified communication and collaboration, of which the market is saturated. The partnership with Fabrick proves it. Virtual Branch aims to enable all its features, through its REST Api and SDK, within financial environments. We are today the most flexible and fastest solution to integrate. Virtual Branch was born as a response to this contingency period in which we realize that giving a simple solution without installation, unlike many players known on the market that very often require to install software and/or plug-ins for proper operation, completely web based not only from PC but also from smartphone. With our product just one click and you’re on call! Through Virtual Branch we want to show the importance of digital channels within the relationship with its customers, and at the same time highlight the technological goodness of our solutions, to then push the integration of our technology within the company’s apps and websites to engage their customers from the applications they already use daily.

Effort and timing of adoption by banks/customer companies and how can it evolve in the future (after the current emergency)?

The adoption times of this solution are extremely fast, less than 24h, and do not require the installation of any software component and/or plug-in for proper operation. We strongly believe in the adoption of these tools by financial realities because they ensure a lasting and effective relationship with their customers. This emergency will change behavioural and consumption patterns and the increasingly used digital channels will enable a series of remote “opportunities”. Integrating them within their own solutions can prevent the customer from perceiving a change of application and always remaining within the reference solution. It is said that history is a very good teacher but it has bad pupils, we hope that we can learn from this to evolve how we use our services.

Alberto Mussinatto, Strategy and Business Developer at Fabrick

What role did open banking play in the creation/launch of this solution? And what future scenarios does it open up to?

The collaboration with Bandyer, one of the first partners of Fabrick’s Open Platform ecosystem, was born from a common vision. We are both convinced that one of the bases for the development of open banking is the possibility, in addition to innovating current technological solutions, to build concrete use cases to enable new forms of relationship and interaction with their customers. Today the need to minimize physical interactions is combined with the need to ensure business continuity and also to strengthen the relationship with its customers. In this difficult situation it has emerged the possibility, by combining the respective visons and technological capabilities, to enable a new channel in which to channel to customers all the value of advice and relationship that is normally generated in a physical interaction in a branch. For this reason we decided to call the service “Virtual Branch“.

How does the launch of Virtual Branch fit into Fabrick’s business strategy?

In such a rapidly evolving context, we have first of all thought about how to respond quickly to our clients’ needs, and for this reason with Bandyer we have defined a very light technological set-up that allows you to be live with the Virtual Branch solution in 24 hours. This rapid response is part of a broader strategic framework in which our role as a platform is both supporting and enabling the evolution of the digital channels and tools of financial institutions serving private and corporate client segments that, especially at this stage, are proving to be very reactive to digital transformations. The Virtual Branch service therefore aims to be the test-bed for several use cases related to the digitization of physical networks. This will lead to the subsequent integration of the tool in white label by the institutions, with the aim of enabling a new way of providing the services of their corporate networks as well as their digital services while maintaining a high level of experience and a human relationship.

How has the COVID19 emergency affected Fabrick’s development of new services/products with its partners/producers?

The COVID19 emergency has certainly also had an impact on our development strategy/products and services, especially in relation to the multiple possibilities to respond to new needs with the different use cases available and under development with our partners. In fact we have witnessed a strong acceleration and awareness of demand especially towards some services, in some cases already available in others still under development.
We have adopted a two-step approach, a first mainly tactical phase in which we have quickly prepared enabling solutions with our partners, and the Virtual Branch is the first example, available very quickly. We are trying to ground further solutions at a different level of maturity in the areas of e-commerce, e-payments and in some specific cases specific support to institutions.
At this stage, in addition to putting the maximum effort into the development of rapidly deployable services, we are working closely with all ecosystem partners to build medium-term solutions that will support financial institutions and enterprises at the end of the COVID19 emergency. At this stage, we are developing some new specific services dedicated to financial institutions and enterprises in the credit, insurance and data analytics sectors to support the restart of the sectors that have been most affected by this emergency, such as tourism and physical retail.

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Author: Tudor Sava

9 Aprile 2020