TD explores the future of immersive VR experiences

Digital Reinvention
23/03/2023 News

TD Bank Group announced the Bank has launched multiple immersive experiences that leverage emerging technologies to deliver the next-level of interactive engagement aimed at customers and new colleagues. Together, these research-driven virtual experiences help facilitate a new and inclusive way to engage with the Bank – providing new possibilities for customers and colleagues to interact with TD.

"We're at the precipice of a new engagement frontier with Web 3.0, and virtual reality platforms are just scratching the surface in how TD can engage with its customers," said Rizwan Khalfan, Chief Digital and Payments Officer, TD Bank Group. "TD is continuously exploring emerging technologies to identify new platforms that can help us connect with our customers, colleagues and communities. Immersive VR provides opportunities to develop rich environments with inclusivity in mind and connects us to our customers in a more intuitive way." 

Engaging early talent through collaborative immersive experiences

Collaborating with Capco, the global management and technology company and Mesmerise, an enterprise VR company, TD launched a Virtual Reality Co-op and Intern Pilot Program. The pilot aims to create a more immersive and collaborative experience for new TD colleagues.

Over 100 interns, primarily from the Platforms and Technology and Digital & Innovation teams, were given the opportunity to opt-in to the program, running from January to April 2023. Students received virtual reality headsets, created their own personalized avatars and have been participating in a variety of 3D immersive programming including:

• Networking sessions: Designed to help build a peer network of interns, co-op students and TD colleagues from across the Bank. Participants have the opportunity to take part in a variety of virtual networking events, including a scavenger hunt, and team building activities like dodgeball, bowling, an escape room and more.

• Live leadership panel discussions: Participants have the opportunity to attend panel discussions with leaders from across the organization for career advice and to learn more about their career journeys, as well as different areas of the Bank.

• Innovation challenge: Participants are put into groups and given a real-world problem that TD is facing. They have 60 days to work with their mentor and group to produce an innovative solution. VR Pilot participants have access to collaboration and design tools that will allow them to work together, whiteboard and build prototypes.

• Lunch & learn on the 'future of money':  Participants are able to attend this popular TD lunch and learn presentation as well as network with TD executives and each other.

"Our objective with TD was to drive engagement through a dynamic early talent immersive experience that would help new TD colleagues connect in a meaningful and natural way, no matter where they are," said Gary Teelucksingh, CEO of Capco Canada.

Research by Brandon Hall Group (2015) found that attention to employee onboarding can improve employee retention by up to 82%, while a Gallup study (2018) found that 88% of organizations don't onboard well. Virtual onboarding provides an opportunity to look at traditional onboarding through a different lens – particularly for early talent.  

"In a hybrid world, connection is key. VR provides an inclusive and immersive option for collaboration, one that you just can't get through video conferencing. We're proud to have worked with TD to bring that level of connection to their team," said Andrew Hawken, CEO and Co-Founder of Mesmerise.

"We are excited to offer this compelling experience that allows our interns and co-op students to connect with each other, develop a sense of community and embrace our TD culture," said Irene Santos, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition at TD.

The commercial banking proof-of-concept allowed us to see how we might develop such a service for commercial banking customers by providing a personalized experience and tailored information from the channel our customers prefer to engage with us in.

Jo Jagadish, EVP, Head of Corporate Products, Services & Innovation, TD Bank

Gamified Financial Literacy

Together with context-aware computing company, Flybits, TD created a proof-of-concept gamified financial literacy VR experience, where users make financial decisions and learn about how those decisions impact their finances. Targeting the under 25 demographic, participants are immersed in an interactive 3D experience, built on Flybits Open Dome platform, where they are asked to make financial decisions around spending, credit, saving and investing, and asked how these decisions make them feel. Users can interact with tools that help them visualize how their decisions impact their financial wellness. By gamifying the experience, users collect objects and badges for good financial decisions, and at the end, receive a financial persona that aligns with the decisions they made. To ensure the experience is always evolving, TD prompts users for feedback within the experience so that the experience is reflective of their needs.  

"We wanted to evaluate and understand how virtual reality and gamification provide an enhanced personalized learning experience for a younger audience, which led to creating an audience-specific experience with a customer-centric lens," said Hossein Rahnama, founder and CEO of Flybits. "Both Flybits and TD are leaders in building incredible user experiences—together we can continue to test and build new ways that can bring audiences closer and builder deeper connections."

Interactive US Commercial Banking Experience

To experiment with new models of customer engagement and gather feedback from US commercial customers and explore an option for advice in an immersive setting, TD alongside Flybits, built an interactive virtual commercial banking experience to test user comfort with 3D navigation and VR technology. The proof-of-concept, which launched at a conference in Philadelphia in October 2022, showcased intuitive dashboards that could illustrate information such as cash position, line of credit and relevant banking products for potential clients. It also showcased a live video call capability where potential commercial customers could connect directly with a TD Relationship Manager in real-time and walk through their portfolio and ask questions.

"Customer preferences are changing, and many people are becoming more and more comfortable in VR experiences," said Jo Jagadish, EVP, Head of Corporate Products, Services & Innovation, TD Bank. "The commercial banking proof-of-concept allowed us to see how we might develop such a service for commercial banking customers by providing a personalized experience and tailored information from the channel our customers prefer to engage with us in."

This focus on immersive VR helps TD build on it's longstanding commitment to personalized experiences for its customers, colleagues and communities. TD has a robust and well-established innovation ecosystem, which includes ideation, incubation, acceleration, fintech, start up and big tech relationships, investments in fintech and venture capital and a presence in the academic arena.

"We are always looking to enhance our digital capabilities and to design experiences that can exceed the expectations of the customers we serve and the colleagues we hire," said Imran Khan, Head of Innovation at TD Bank Group. "Through our innovation ecosystem, we've designed prototype test cases to research, evaluate and learn, and to help create authentic and hyper-personalized experiences that can transform the way our new and existing customers connect with us."

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