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Virtual reality: step into the future of banking

Virtual reality and its iconic headsets are now a part of our daily lives! The technology offers a level of interactivity that is reinventing the customer experience in every business sector… and banking is no exception!

Virtual reality: conquering every sector 

Virtual reality is a technology that can immerse users in a fictional space that is artificially generated by software. It activates several of our senses (vision, hearing, touch, motion, etc.) to make the experience more intuitive and immersive. It first won over gamers eager to step into their games, using stunningly effective virtual reality headsets. Already, 12 million units are expected to be sold in 2017

Offering fully immersive sensations, the virtual reality market is expected to represent 30 billion dollars by 2020 and impact every sector of the economy: tourism, medicine, insurance, career training, etc.

Visualising intangible services

Banks have not overlooked the role that virtual reality can play in offering new customers services, including simplifying the purchasing process. That’s why banks are now rethinking the way they present their products and services. Visualisation can help make abstract information more tangible for users. It can even paint a picture of complex products, such as investment or insurance solutions, to provide customers with a better idea of each offer

To discover all the possibilities offered by virtual reality, BNP Paribas’ Retail Banking in France (BDDF)  launched a virtual reality application that gives customers a sneak peek at the future of their bank. The application shows customers how to use augmented reality to check their banking operations or buy property, always with their bank by their side at all times. 

Enhancing the conversation with customers

Virtual reality will also have a profound impact on customer relations. It’s a new communications channel that is more fun and interactive than a phone call, with absolutely no need to travel anywhere. 

Virtual reality conversations with representatives will help to enrich customer relations by operating in tandem with other methods (email, live chat, call back, etc.). For example, customers may chat with their representative’s avatar before scheduling a physical appointment at a local branch.

BNP Paribas innovates with virtual reality

Not only is virtual reality a must to keep up with new mobile uses and the lifestyles of digital natives, it also aligns perfectly with the values of a bank that accompanies the transformations of a changing world

BNP Paribas’s involvement in virtual reality was notably on display last June at the Viva Technology expo in Paris. The Group presented a tool developed by BNP Paribas Real Estate to visualise an apartment under construction or on the market, so that potential buyers could better make their decision with ease by picturing themselves in the home first.  The expo was also a chance for BNP Paribas Cardif to present its “Mobile Protect VR” application, a virtual reality experience designed to inform customers of the advantages of mobile device insurance. The service is a unique way to understand normally abstract insurance products. 

The Group is also innovating through two major initiatives launched recently. The first is the VR Arles Festival, cofounded in 2016 by BNP Paribas, Fisheye and Les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles. Taking place every summer during the Arles photography festival, the event gives audiences a 360° look at film, documentary and artistic creation. Second, BNP Paribas is a partner of MK2 VR in Paris, a permanent space devoted to virtual reality. Inaugurated in December 2016, it offers totally new experiences in this area – both cinematic and otherwise.

Photos © Benoit Florençon

Finally, continuing its long-standing commitment in favour of tennis, BNP Paribas created an original experience for the French Open. The We Are Tennis Virtual Reality Challenge gives tennis fans the chance to improve their tennis skills using a virtual game. Thanks to the software, fans can perfect their passing shot before taking it to the court.  

BNP Paribas believes virtual reality holds immense potential to advance the company and revolutionise customer relations and internal organization. That’s why the Group decided to produce its new corporate film in virtual reality – a first among companies listed on the CAC 40! 

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