RBC bridges language barriers with new in-branch video interpretation app

RBC today introduced a new language app for branches that provides clients with real-time video access to qualified interpreters to conduct their banking.

Communication can sometimes be challenging, especially when there is a language barrier. For many immigrants to Canada whose first language isn’t English, it can be a real struggle to understand complicated topics or learn a new banking system. RBC is also the first financial institution in North America to offer American Sign Language to its clients through this video app.

“It’s important that our clients can communicate with us in the most convenient way they choose.With a touch of a button, we can now bridge language barriers in branches from coast to coast — just one of the ways that RBC helps clients thrive every day,” said Kirk Dudtschak, executive vice-president, personal & commercial banking, RBC. “We’re proud to continue to lead the way in providing accessible banking for our clients.”

Available now, this on-demand video service currently offers 13 languages, with more to follow. This ‘video chat’ format provides the added benefit of visual cues. The app also supports 200 languages through audio conferencing, a service RBC has offered over the telephone since 2009.

With so many people new to Canada – and to the banking system – needing financial advice, the demand for interpretation services has been increasing. Without help, their access to banking can be limited.

“Providing newcomers with the ability to have banking conversations in their preferred language is critical to helping our clients learn about how banking works in Canada and what products and solutions are right for them. The new language app is useful for anyone who considers English or French a second languageno matter how long they have lived here,” said Christine Shisler, senior director, cultural markets, RBC.

Fast facts:

  • How it works: When a client requires interpretation services in a bank branch, a banking advisor will open the language app on a tablet, and will select the client’s preferred language. In less than a minute, the client will be connected with qualified interpreters. Using two-way video technology, the client and banker can then speak directly with the interpreter, who also has access to an optional on-screen whiteboard feature to display any messages.
  • Languages offered: 13 are available now through video translation, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Polish, Somali, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Hmong, Nepali, Russian, and American Sign Language.
  • Branch reach: The service is available at all RBC branches across Canada.

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