Nationwide will extend its remote mortgage application platform to 400 branches this year, making a wider range of financial consultancy services available via high definition video link.
The UK’s largest building society launched the Nationwide Now telepresence service at 60 branches last year, in order to reduce waiting times for customers meeting with mortgage consultants. Branches had previously been limited to offering services on certain days, as advisors often had to travel between different sites – a particular problem in rural areas.
Following positive feedback from customers, the service, supported by Cisco’s ‘virtual face-to-face’ video-conferencing technology, Remote Expert, will now be expanded to hundreds of branches by November. A wider range of staff will also be available, including financial planning managers, personal banking managers and mortgage consultants.
Nationwide will also create 200 jobs across Dunfermline, Northampton and Bournemouth to support the service.
Like many UK banks, Nationwide has been investing more heavily in digital channels as customers choose to bank online and via mobile devices – and has even developed a smartwatch app.
However, the building society said that the Nationwide Now service indicates its commitment to a modernised branch network too.
“At Nationwide we believe that a vital part of serving our members is providing access to our consultants and products in their community when it best suits them,” said Mark Goldman, divisional director of central distribution at Nationwide Building Society. "Our investment in Nationwide Now is a great example of how we’re using technology to achieve this.”
Nationwide is not the only lender to provide remote access to financial managers, with Barclays unveiling a smartphone based video-banking service earlier this year.