How the epay gift card module can help the “bank branch of the future” become a digital market place

Gift cards, cell phone products, concert tickets: A pilot project initiated by the Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken shows how bank branches can be turned into modern points of sales

What will the bank branch of the future look like? It’s not just since the coronavirus crisis that banks and savings banks have been grappling with this question. There are three factors to be considered here:
1. the need for bank branches to be economically viable,
2. the need to always meet customers’ expectations, and
3. the need for banks to fulfill a social role as people’s local bank

One strategy that takes all three factors into account involves adapting bank branches to changing consumer habits. And this is precisely what the cooperative banks’ pilot project “VR eKiosk,” the VR-Entertain product family’s new self-service terminal, is currently doing. Offering a combination of services and products, the “bank branch of the future” is currently available on a trial basis across 23 Volksbank/Raiffeisenbank locations. It can be accessed via the VR eKiosk. The virtual kiosks offer not only bank-own products, but also an array of other products and services of use to customers in their daily lives.

The epay gift card module in the VR eKiosk offers more than 60 products

The epay gift card module, a turnkey app included in the VR eKiosk that has proved successful in numerous other sectors (e.g. retail), is an important component of this digital marketplace. The integrated epay app offers around-the-clock access to more than 60 gift card and cell phone products that can be purchased via the VR eKiosk (with just one click). Because the VR eKiosks are self-service terminals, they can be accessed independently of the branch’s opening hours. They are equipped with a full-HD touch screen as well as, among other features,
• a printer,
• NFC,
• Bluetooth, and
• a payment terminal.

The large multi-touch screen and the integrated apps allow users to buy, pay for, and immediately print out prepaid cell phone cards, vouchers, gift cards and (concert) tickets. This turns the bank branch into a point of sale that, by offering products and services of external partners, creates a networked consumer environment able to both promote customer loyalty and appeal to new and attractive target groups. This pilot project, initially set to be tested for one year and then rolled out, makes the Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken among the “first movers” on the market. With it, the banks demonstrate the potential that bank branches can have if they are able to cleverly adapt to customers’ needs. The VR eKiosk’s alignment with customer needs was confirmed at the recent Best Retail Case Awards, where it finished in 3rd place!

Gift cards to go with the epay gift card module

Featuring interfaces with all the VR eKiosk’s peripheral equipment (including a payment terminal and a printer), the epay gift card module enables customers to buy and immediately print out gift cards for well-known fashion, lifestyle, electronics, gaming, and streaming brands. The process is as follows: The customer selects his/her desired gift card using the app and pays for it by card (contactless option available) via the payment terminal. The gift card product is then collected from the virtual PIN depot and the customer receives two documents: one till receipt or invoice and one gift card with the gift card PIN.

The epay gift card module features a modular structure and can be adapted to any system

The epay gift card module has a modular structure and is thus scalable, that is, it can be extended by additional services (KYC/age verification, payment, marketing with performance measurement, ad displays, ticketing, and much more). The app, which was developed on the basis of Android 6+, can moreover be customized and branded according to the client’s needs and the system used. It not only offers back-end process security and an intuitive front-end, but also facilitates a wide range of offers – in keeping with the “content is king” principle, as end customers expect a gift card app to offer all of their preferred brands and products. As a gift card and payment service provider, epay offers a brand network comprising over 2,000 internationally known and regional brands from the areas of lifestyle & shopping, gaming & social networks, music & entertainment, software, prepaid mobile, payment, sports & events, and ticketing.

epay is an expert for POS digitalization: It serves around 100 virtual kiosks

Already a market leader in the German-speaking countries in the field of digital content distribution services at the physical POS, epay has further cemented its position by equipping the 23 VR eKiosks with its gift card module. epay now has a total of around 100 virtual kiosks in use, the majority of which operate in the retail sector. As such, the company now covers all available channels, in keeping with its multi/omnichannel approach: The gift card module for digital kiosks does away with the lack media at the POS and, together with the “Mein-Guthaben” app for mobile devices and its online stores, enables the company to cover all available channels, both with and without an integrated payment solution.

More information about the VR eKiosk and the project partners: https://vr-ekiosk.de/