Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Canada's biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, with 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries states from mid-March to mid-April 2020, RBC saw an increase of 84% in digital enrollment by seniors and a 210% increase in digital activity by seniors who were already enrolled but had not been actively using these services for at least six months. This increased use includes seniors using online banking and mobile options each week to send electronic money transfers (up 55%) and to make payments(up 12%.
RBC is focusing on keeping seniors safe during Covid-19 by helping them bank online by introducing customized support, including special services for seniors, reinforcing the message "be safe and stay home". In just a few weeks, digital enrollment by clients aged 60+ has grown significantly, as has adoption of electronic money transfers and online payments.
To help clients who typically use the branch, RBC has initiated a series of outreach programs with local advisors across the country. The goal is to proactively reach out to close to one million clients - more than 60 per cent who are seniors - to check in on their needs, enable them with digital banking and the confidence to bank online where needed, and support their financial well-being.
"We've seen our communities disrupted, and as we provide support and relief across the country, we want to take special care of our most vulnerable populations," said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking, RBC. "We're giving our seniors the tools, resources and confidence they need to stay safe, and bank from home. Our teams are reaching out to them to provide access to resources and tutorials that will help them bank online safely and securely, as well as personalized assistance where needed."
With government recommendations that seniors self-isolate, RBC offers front of the line access for seniors at branches that are open, for those who must visit a branch for critical banking needs that can only be completed in-person. For all other transactions, RBC call centres provide priority service to seniors. Clients are identified when they call RBC using their bank card, and from there, calls are prioritized. To date, more than 40,000 calls from seniors are coming in per week, and the majority are asking for assistance with transferring funds, paying bills and enrolling in online banking.
RBC has created a new website that includes a series of video tutorials and instruction guides to help Canadians with banking at home. The videos and instruction guides walk through how to use RBC Online Banking and the RBC Mobile app for a wide range of banking activities including: how to enroll in RBC Online Banking, how to download the RBC Mobile app, and how to reset a password. The tutorials can be accessed at rbc.com/bankeasy.
Boomerang, powered by RBC Ventures, is a social community that empowers learning, sharing and connection for adults aged 50+ in Canada. Through the recently launched online platform Boomerang at Home, all Canadians can participate in interactive online experiences ranging from cooking, jewellery-making and meditation to book clubs, personal finances and tax preparation. Boomerang also offers businesses and Canadians with a skill to share the opportunity to host an online experience, with full tech support, onboarding, and financial compensation. All Boomerang online experiences are being offered for free for a limited time and are available in English only at this time.
While ensuring continuity of essential banking services for clients, RBC has enabled more than 75,000 employees to work from home. Branches are practicing physical distancing and limiting the number of clients in branches at all times. In addition, 40 per cent of branches have been temporarily closed, and clients are asked to reserve branch visits for critical needs that can only be resolved in-person.
RBC continues to collaborate with the Government of Canada to offer online enrollment of Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) direct deposit, and assistance to Canadian small businesses.