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Virtual Reality Enhances Onboarding Experience at Bank of America and TD Bank Group

In recent years, Bank of America and TD Bank Group have been leveraging virtual reality (VR) to enhance the onboarding experience for their new employees. According to both banks, this innovative approach has proven to be both practical and enjoyable. Interns at TD reported that VR helped them overcome their shyness and connect with others in these unique virtual spaces, while Bank of America saw new employees forming connections with senior executives in the virtual world that translated to the physical workplace.

The potential of virtual reality in banking is currently focused on employee training and onboarding, rather than consumer applications. However, as hybrid work environments become more prevalent, VR could find additional uses. Peter Wannemacher, a principal analyst in digital banking at Forrester, suggests that VR can be effective in acclimating employees to new environments, whether digital or physical. This includes networking, learning about company benefits, and other aspects of onboarding.

Bank of America is one of the banks at the forefront of VR onboarding. They recently held a multi-day onboarding event in New York City, where over 2,000 new employees from around the world participated. As part of the event, new hires wore VR headsets and were transported into a metaverse world created by the bank. The experience allowed them to explore various virtual spaces, interact with avatars, and learn about life at Bank of America. Employees from close to 30 countries were present at this year's event, making it an even more immersive and global experience compared to the previous year.

TD Bank Group also embraced VR for its onboarding program. Between January and April of this year, 100 co-op students and interns in Canada had the opportunity to engage with VR as part of their onboarding process. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with the VR group expressing significant enthusiasm for the experience. Imran Khan, head of global innovation at TD, is pleased with the positive response and believes that embracing new technologies helps project their company as innovative and forward-thinking.

Virtual reality in banking is still in its early stages, with employee training and onboarding being the main focus. However, as technology continues to evolve and VR becomes more widely adopted, there may be potential for customer applications in the future. In the meantime, banks like Bank of America and TD Bank Group are leveraging VR to create immersive and engaging onboarding experiences for their new employees, setting the stage for a world-class introduction to their organizations.

Sources: Bank of America, TD Bank Group