Augmented Reality in Financial Services: Moving from Science Fiction to Commercial Opportunities
Chintalapudi, Naga Madhavi, Jaipuriar, Abhinav Kishore, Global Finance
Who would believe that Steven Spielberg's high-tech futuristic shopping mall concept in the movie Minority Report, where Tom Cruise's character is confronted with digital signs that call out his name when he passes them, would one day be brought to the real world by NEC and IBM, who are separately developing facial recognition advertising billboards? Recendy, Google's Project Glass, which is developing an augmented reality head-mounted device (HMD), has made the tech world sit up and take notice. The retail industry has seen a spurt of development around augmented reality with Teseo being at the forefront. The real estate and the advertising industries have been quick to embrace augmented reality applications to improve sales and customer outreach. In the financial services, augmented reality has not been able to make much headway but the time is ripe for companies to leverage augmented reality technologies to deliver cutting-edge solutions to customers.
Augmented reality, in simple terms, is the use of diverse technology to enhance and improve our view of the real world. Augmented reality (AR) is a direct or indirect representation of physical, real-world surroundings whose components are enlarged by system-generated sound, video, graphics, etc. For example, telecasting a basketball match with live scores, images etc. on the screen. The basic scheme of AR is to overlay graphics, audio and other sense enhancements over a real-world environment in real-time.
APPLICATION OF AUGMENTED REALITY IN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Customers using web and mobile applications expect a compelling user experience that is usable, useful and attractive. Augmented reality applications can be leveraged to improve the existing business scenario and even create new business cases. The various scenarios where augmented reality can be applied in the financial services Industry are
1. ATM locator: User can point his phone at any particular direction -> ATMs in that direction are displayed -> The user can chose an ATM -> The user will be visually guided to the ATM -> User can use the ATM
2. Book an appointment at a bank branch: User can point the phone at any particular direction-> Branches in that direction are displayed ->User can select a branch and take a token number online -> Book a meeting and meet the manager
3. Customer acquisition, loyalty and marketing: Customer can check for interesting offers that he saw on a brochure / billboard -> He can point the phone at the brochure/ billboard -> Take a snapshot -> Image is automatically sent to the server by the AR app-> The server relays back the information via pictures and interactive media -> Choose or reject the offer or service
4. Location-based merchant offers: User needs to check merchant offers while shopping -> Point the phone to the particular direction-> A list of merchant offers with details is· displayed -> Check the offers and select -> Address and directions are displayed -> User can go and shop