Defence Bank has launched what it claims is an Australian-first: a video banking system for its 90,000 members.
The service uses technology provided by US vendor uGenius, which was recently acquired by payments technology giant NCR.
According to Defence Bank chief executive Jon Linehan, the video service is initially targeted at members wanting to conduct loans and credit card-related transactions.
“Many Defence force personnel are living in remote areas, or might not have the opportunity to attend a branch,” Linehan told iTnews. “The video banking allows them to conduct business face to face.”
The loans-related transactions are the first stage of a two-part roll-out, Linehan said. “Over time we will look to add general banking transactions to the system,” he said.
To use the video banking system, customers book a session online, and then point their browser to a specific address at the booked time. A video-equipped customer service representative then takes the video call at the bank's Melbourne call centre.
Linehan said there are no specific regulatory guidelines associated with video banking. “In a sense, it is no different to going to a branch,” he said. “The regulations cover what happens in the transaction, not the manner in which the transaction is conducted.”
Defence Bank, founded in 1975 as a mutual credit union, transitioned into a full bank last year. Despite this status, it is still a member-owned institution, with around 75 percent of members being in the Australian Defence Force, and the remainder members of the public.
“Every member owns one share,” Linehan said.
Public members enjoy all the same benefits as ADF members, with one exception: ADF members can access special government-backed loans that are not available to non-serving citizens.