RBC Bridges Language Barriers With New In-Branch Video Interpretation App

Real-time multi-language interpretation – including American Sign Language – marks a North American financial institution first for two-way video service for clients

Communication can sometimes be challenging, especially when there is a language barrier. RBC recently introduced a new language app for branches that provides clients with real-time video access to professional interpreters to conduct their banking.

For many immigrants to Canada whose first language isn’t English or French, it can be a real struggle to understand complicated topics or learn a new banking system. RBC understands that providing clients with the abilities and tools to have banking conversations in their preferred language is critical to developing their financial literacy in Canada. To help clients overcome this language barrier, RBC has been providing multi-language services through its network by having staff at the branch that can speak in client’s preferred language or by providing information to them over the phone. With the recent launch of the new interpretation service app in all its branches it further bridges the gap.

The first of its kind in North America, this app provides real-time video access to professional interpreters for clients to conduct their Banking. 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. The app also supports 200 languages through audio conferencing, a service RBC has offered over the telephone since 2009.

“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 a professional interpreter. Using two-way video/audio 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. The app also supports 200 languages through audio conferencing
  • Branch reach: The service is available at all RBC branches across Canada.

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