This week, Zappar CEO and Co-Founder, Caspar Thykier, is joined by Miguel Navarro, the Head of Voice and Emerging Platforms at TD Bank in North America.
In this session, they cover:
1. How WebAR has changed the XR game
2. Using AR to create customer-first experiences in banking
3. How TD Bank gamified personal finance with AR
4. XR as part of a more connected customer journey
How WebAR has changed the XR game
Miguel begins the interview by describing what led him to work in the XR space in the first place. He recounts going to the mall as a child and experiencing VR for the first time. “You put on this giant headset and you see very polygon-ish things flying around. The fact that you were able to experience them without leaving your physical space, but by transporting to a different universe, I thought that was just extremely mind-boggling.”
Speaking as a ‘grown-up’, as Miguel refers to himself, he compares the wonder of experiencing AR & VR as a child to the more practical implications it has now.
“One of the issues that typically goes with virtual reality is the cost and rationalizing it as part of your business. Typically that cost is extremely high because of the hardware that you would need. So it’s like, what type of ROI are you going to get?”
Miguel goes on to talk about customer access, highlighting that VR, especially in its earlier forms, was limited in terms of who could afford to access it. He describes the rise of WebAR as being one of the main reasons he began working with AR, because it solved that key issue of accessibility.
“Now that we live in a world where our mobile phones are just as strong as computers, all of these different platforms have started coming out, and it [has become] very exciting.” He adds, with a beaming smile: “Honestly Caspar, I’ve seen a couple of companies, but there’s no one else out there that does it like Zappar.”
Using AR to create customer-first experiences in banking
Caspar describes the use of AR for ‘surprise and delight’ experiences across marketing and advertising, and asks Miguel about where he feels the opportunity lies for AR in the banking and personal finance industry. Miguel responds by discussing how AR can create a customer-first experience, something that he is very passionate about, primarily by helping to make the more complicated elements of the finance sector simpler.
“Banking [can be] extremely complicated. I don’t do my own taxes, I have someone else do them because it’s just that complicated. The exposure that [people] have to financial institutions, financial knowledge and experience can be vastly different. So, to me, the way I see AR, VR, XR is firmly within financial education.”
He goes on to emphasize that exposing information about finance is only part of the solution - the other part is its retainability. “A customer going through that surprise and delight moment makes it a lot more memorable - and the same goes for the information that comes with it.”
How TD Bank gamified personal finances with AR
“One of the pieces that [Zappar and TD Bank] did together was the Digital Welcome Kit,” Miguel says, when asked for an example of how TD Bank uses AR to educate customers. The Digital Welcome Kit was sent to all new customers, including those who opened a new account online, and those who opened one in-store. “We try to connect both worlds. We don’t just select one or the other, like some companies do.”
The Digital Welcome Kit contained a physical envelope that unfolded to become a headset that customers could slide their phone into and use like a VR headset. They would use their phone to scan the code that came with the kit, which launched the onboarding experience.
“They’d learn about mobile deposits, sending money, bill paying, transfers, but not in the traditional way.” TD Bank gamified these learning experiences to improve their memorability and to boost customer satisfaction and engagement. Learning how to send money, for example, was a game that involved shooting coins from one phone to another.
Miguel describes the connection between the specific games in the app and opting into different functionalities later on. Talking specifically about the coin shooting game, he said: “Out of all the games inside that digital experience, that was the one that had the highest usage, and that led to the highest adoption of that functionality in the mobile app. I mean, you’re creating educated consumers, right?”
AR as part of a more connected customer journey
When asked what he is most excited about for the future of XR, Miguel has this to say:
“We’re just at the tip of the iceberg. This is just the beginning. One of the pieces I’m currently working on and trying to figure out is creating connected experiences.”
He describes the customer journey as having lots of different paths, and that right now AR & VR are seen as smaller ‘moments’ in a bigger digital moment. “People use it one time and then [start] going through the more quote-unquote “normal” course. I believe eventually augmented reality will be a part of the journey where people go in and out of it.”