Telestax Blog

WebRTC in Banking and Finance: Too Powerful to Fail!

Enterprise WebRTC for banking and finance in 2018 is quickly becoming a must-have! I remember growing up, every Saturday morning going to the bank with my mom to deposit checks and take cash out for the week. We would walk into the branch, fill out the deposit slip with the pen that was securely fastened to the table, and quietly wait in the line with our neighbors for our number to be called. EVERY SATURDAY.

Today, I can not remember the last time I walked into a bank location. I’m not alone. People have taken the much more frictionless path of accessing, interacting and transacting online with a much higher engagement and frequency than ever before. Branches are closing and banks have created new micro-interactions with applications.

RestcommOne from Telestax has created the ability to have more of those meaningful micro-interactions through WebRTC.

Several factors highlight this trend:

  • Ability to connect securely via popular desktop browsers instead of a dedicated office phone device.
  • Securely connecting customers and agents on the go from within enterprise smartphone apps.
  • Utilizing the phone number to manage user identity.
  • Cybersecurity and client privacy protection laws which require financial institutions to run within a controlled private cloud environment.

RestcommONE provides powerful components that make it a good fit for modern banking and finance call centers.

On the Server Side:

  • RestcommONE is capable of running in any virtualized private cloud environment that can host a Java VM.
  • The RestcommONE server is capable of connecting to PSTN (SS7), VoIP (SIP) and WebRTC endpoints. This allows RestcommONE to extend existing enterprise telephony infrastructure and preserving prior investments. RestcommONE integrates readily with Cisco Unified Communications (UC) Server, Avaya Aura, and Microsoft Lync.
  • Rich REST/JSON API that makes it easy for server-side developers to integrate with the IT assets without specialized telecom skills. The API is compatible with the popular Twilio API.
  • Ability to scale automatically on demand (with Ubuntu JuJu and docker)
  • Fully featured IVR, conferencing and messaging capabilities

On the client side:

  • RestcommONE has several client SDKs each optimized with native code to the respective hosting device – iOS, Android, Chrome, FireFox. (IE and Safari SDKs are available via our partner Temasys).
  • Each client SDK offers fully secure WebRTC connectivity to the servers.
  • The client SDKs can execute within client-side VPN wrappers used by most enterprises in the finance sector.

Next, I would like to draw attention to an exciting opportunity with high-value potential in the industry.

Phone numbers have become a powerful identify management factor!

The multi-factor authentication market (MFA) is estimated to grow to $10.75B by 2020 according to Markets and Markets research. 90% of that will be attributed to two-factor authentication. By far the most popular second authentication factor is phone number verification. Hugely popular consumer apps from WhatsApp and Twitter to Google have set a trend that has extended to a number of niche applications. The most common enterprise user of two-factor authentication is the finance industry.

While the phone number has become a popular authentication token, its potential for identity management has remained largely untapped. WebRTC application vendors continue to rely on traditional web methods for authentication with username and password. This, of course, has been working just fine, except it doesn’t take advantage of what could be a better user experience. In a services economy its all about the user experience.

Let’s illustrate the advantage of the phone number with an example. Let’s say that Charlie uses a banking app from (hypothetical) CapitalBank for iPhone to check his account balance, to pay bills, and message his personal banker. Now let’s assume that CapitalBank has verified Charlie’s mobile phone number and instead of asking for a long username and password entry each time Charlie opens the app, which can be very annoying on a tiny keyboard without visual feedback when password characters are hidden, the app simply asks Charlie for a short four-digit PIN. The PIN may not be even required if Charlie locks his phone with his fingerprint or PIN. Replacing the need to enter 20-30 symbols, half of which are hidden, with a quick 4 digit PIN or biometric scan is quite a bit of improvement for Charlie, who uses his banking app several times a week.

Are there other ways to leverage Charlie’s mobile phone number?

Yes, indeed. Here is another one:

CapitalBank integrates its Broadsoft UC-One based contact center with RestcommONE. Calls between bank clients and contact center agents are routed via RestcommONE. We will see why this is useful in a moment.

CapitalBank also embeds the RestcommONE Client SDK in their iPhone, Android and desktop browser apps.

Normally agents in contact centers use software from one vendor (e.g. Mitel, Avaya, Genesys) for managing phone calls and software from another vendor (e.g. Slack, Zendesk, LiveChat) for engaging visitors with IM chat. Yet another vendor for CRM (e.g. Salesforce, Oracle, NetSuite). Integrating user identity and data flow between these systems has been spotty historically (to use diplomatic tone).

Using the phone number for user identity makes things simpler. When call agent Angela places a call to Charlie from her contact center software, the call is routed via RestcommONE. RestcommONE knows if Charlie is currently using one of the CapitalBank apps. RestcommONE will first route the call to the app that Charlie is using at the moment. If Charlie is not using the banking app at the time of Angela’s call, RestcommONE will ring Charlie’s CapitalBank app first and wait a few moments for Charlie to answer so the conversation can begin within the context of the app.

When connected, Angela will be informed that Charlie is answering in the context of the CapitalBank app. Since it’s a WebRTC powered call, a video of Angela can show up in the app (as in the famous Amazon Mayday promotion). At this point, if Angela wants to walk Charlie through a new offering and have him sign off on terms, she can do so without Charlie switching back and forth between the call and the app. Voice recording and transcription of the call can be made available to both Angela and Charlie. The recording can optionally include a screencast (WebRTC feature) of the app interactions during the call. This can be helpful if Charlie wants to refresh his memory later and replay the personalized training session on the banking product that Angela just sold him.

In case Charlie does not answer the call to the app within a few rings, RestcommONE will route the call to the PSTN which will, in turn, ring his regular phone dialer. This is how the contact center app normally operates when RestcommONE is not in the middle of the call path.

Make sense?

The example above showed one of the ways user experience can be improved incrementally without requiring agents, users and contact center software to do away with prior knowledge, procedures, and investments.

So whether you are looking for “The Next Stage”, trying to find out “What’s in your Wallet?”  Always remember “The Power of Possible“, and that “The Right Relationship is Everything!”  Contact us today to learn more about RestcommONE and how “Together, We’ll Go Far!

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