Enterprise WebRTC call center for banking and finance has been a common use case for Restcomm in 2015. 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 smart phone apps
- Utilizing the phone number to manage user identity
- Cyber security and client privacy protection laws which require financial institutions to run within a controlled private cloud environment.
Let’s briefly review why Restcomm has been a popular choice for the outlined requirements.
Key Restcomm features for enterprise WebRTC call centers
Restcomm provides several components that make it a good fit for modern banking and finance call centers.
On the server side:
- Restcomm is capable of running in any virtualized private cloud environment that can host a Java VM
- The Restcomm server is capable of connecting to PSTN (SS7), VoIP (SIP) and WebRTC end points. This allows Restcomm to extend existing enterprise telephony infrastructure and preserving prior investments. Restcomm 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
- Restcomm 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.
The diagram below illustrates the high-level elements that interact in an enterprise WebRTC call center.
Next, I would like to draw attention to an exciting opportunity with high value potential in the industry.
The phone number is 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 user name 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 user name 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 Cisco Unified CM based contact center with Restcomm. Calls between bank clients and contact center agents are routed via Restcomm. We will see why this is useful in a moment.
CapitalBank also embeds the Restcomm Client SDK in their iPhone, Android and desktop browser apps.
Normally agents in contact centers use software from one vendor (e.g. Cisco, Avaya, Genesys) for managing phone calls and software from another vendor (e.g. LivePerson, ClickDesk, ZopIM) for engaging visitors with IM chat. Yet another vendor for CRM (e.g. Salesforce, SugarCRM, Zoho). 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 Restcomm. Restcomm knows if Charlie is currently using one of the CapitalBank apps. Restcomm 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, Restcomm 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 its 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, Restcomm 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 Restcomm is not in the middle of the call path.
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.
Do you have ideas and observations how WebRTC and the phone number can jointly increase end user experience? Please share in the comments section below. Or reach out for an offline conversation via this contact form.