August 18, 2020

5 Augmented Reality Use Cases in the Workplace for Financial Services

Augmented reality for financial services

Augmented reality (AR) is emerging as a key technology shaping the workplace for financial services - now, and in the future.

While virtual reality generates a fully simulated environment, AR intensifies live experiences and environments with sound, images, videos and graphics.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the interplay between technology and real-world elements has proven critical in how we connect with one another and conduct business. Finance is no exception.

The acceleration of interactions in digital spaces is shaping several aspects of finance, including remote work, data use and visualization, financial advising and payments.

This article will introduce five applications of AR in financial services and how these influence our daily interactions with money and banking.                     


Examples of Augmented Reality in Financial Services 

Remote Work

How many of us have recently used Zoom (or other teleconferencing systems) to connect with employees, have meetings with coworkers or cheers to personal moments? Augmented reality adds additional dimension to digital platforms.

Remote work has expanded tremendously around the world as a response to decelerating the spread of COVID-19. This current moment offers insights on how remote work may transform financial services.

Enhancing remote work with AR offers the ability to collaborate virtually. Through AR, team members can all collaborate to complete a project by annotating, chatting and leveraging ‘See What I See’ capabilities.  According to Avantica, remote conferences and training that use AR or virtual reality have demonstrated a 30% boost in learning retention compared with more traditional options.

Assisted with AR, the financial services workforce has the opportunity to not only maintain day-to-day operations but expand capabilities when operating remotely.


Data Use and Visualization

Data collection and visualization is increasingly important in facilitating organizations and entire industries in defining goals, objectives and strategies.  With increasing amounts of data and nuance throughout the financial industry, AR helps to clearly sort and visualize information.

For example, Salesforce provides an immersive 3D environment that enables users to engage with data analysis. Equipped with just the data and the Oculus Rift headset, the experience blends virtual and augmented reality to help financial service workers, including tool traders, to map out various data-driven scenarios for wealth management.

There are real benefits to visualizing data. Research published in the SpringerLink journal found people following text instructions with illustrations do 323% better compared with text-only instructions. And, according to Bain & Company, companies that have advanced analytics are two-times more likely to be in the top 25% of financial health or performance across their industries.


Financial Advising and Support

AR can assist financial advising and support services, such as offering clients and advisors a more educational environment for deeper assessment.

AR can be used as a tool working directly with clients, including simulating various scenarios. For example, an advisor could simulate a market downturn and provide the client with visuals that help her to better grasp the potential personal impact.

According to an ISACA Survey, nearly 70% of consumers noted “clear benefits” in using AR-enhanced devices at work and in personal life.

Fidelity Labs has introduced a virtual financial agent, called Cora, operated with voice commands to answer questions and present relevant information to the client. While still a prototype, this is an example of how human and technological advising can combine to support greater access to financial advising.


Payment Methods

The way we shop is changing. More specifically, the way we make payments is changing. Our daily transactions may soon be done very differently as AR shapes mobile and online payments, and even billing, transforming them to a virtual experience.

Now, as COVID-19 continues and will eventually open a restructured world, AR and e-commerce are more important than ever. According to data from Vertebrae, even while the pandemic halted much retail, retailers who took advantage of AR saw a 19% increase with customer engagement. And on the ROI side, customer conversion rates rose 90%.

These ecommerce trends send a definite signal to financial services: embracing technology can offer a major advantage during economic uncertainty. 


What’s Next?

While the technology is promising and exciting, there are some potential challenges and limitations. These include security concerns and nuances around the legal regulation of virtual spaces. There is much more on the horizon, including the development of virtual bank branches.

The future of AR is still unfolding. Links between technology, public health and human connection continue to shape nearly all aspects of our lives - including how we work, make decisions, receive consultations and spend money.

Now is the moment for financial services to embrace AR as an opportunity to adapt and prosper in an evolving world.



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