With rising diversity in the United States, there is a growing need for banks to provide multilingual services and support. An estimated 67 million Americans speak a language other than English at home, and this population is expected to rise over the next few decades.
Monolingual banking that only caters to English speakers results in poor customer experiences, lost opportunities, and decreased satisfaction for large segments of the population with limited English proficiency (LEP).
Implementing multilingual banking support by using professional translation services can improve customer retention, loyalty, trust, and business growth.
Challenges of Monolingual Banking
A major disadvantage of only providing banking services in English is that customers who speak a language other than English struggle to understand critical information. Important documents like loan agreements, disclosures, fee structures, statements, and disclaimers can be confusing even for native English speakers. For non-native English speakers, monolingual English content creates a barrier to comprehension.
Without properly understanding banking products and services, non-English speakers may unknowingly agree to unfavorable terms. Complex fee structures may be misunderstood, leading to unexpected charges. Overall satisfaction and trust in the institution decreases when customers cannot fully grasp policies in their language.
Miscommunications can also occur when working across languages, severely damaging customer experiences. Subtle nuances in tone and meaning are often lost when relying on informal interpretation. This leads to confused customers and errors that are time-consuming to resolve.
In addition, banks that do not provide adequate language resources lose out on revenue opportunities within local immigrant and expatriate populations. By expanding multilingual capabilities, they can tap into an underserved demographic and increase market share.
Benefits of Offering Multilingual Support
There are many benefits for banks to offer multilingual customer support and services. Some key advantages include:
- Increased trust and loyalty from customers who feel respected through preferred language support.
- Expanded customer reach by appealing to diverse communities.
- Acquisition of new clients by tapping into underserved language markets.
- Higher customer retention over time when people feel included.
- Increased referrals and word-of-mouth within multilingual communities.
- Decreased confusion and increased comprehension of banking products and services.
- Stronger compliance by ensuring customers understand documents, agreements, and disclosures.
- Enhanced brand reputation as a diverse, inclusive institution.
What Types of Translation and Interpretation Services Do Banks Need?
Banks require a range of translation and interpretation services to support customers across the entire customer journey. Key banking language services include:
- Document translation: Document translation refers to the process of translating written content from one language to another. In banking, this could mean translating bank statements, disclosures, agreements, marketing materials, or website content.
- Interpretation: Video remote and over-the-phone interpretation enable real-time interactions between bank staff and non-English-speaking customers.
The most effective multilingual banking combines translated content with interpreting services so customers have a consistent experience across channels. Certified Languages International offers translation and interpretation services to cater to the needs of non-English-speaking customers.
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What to Look for in Bank Interpreting Services
Since quality interpretation is vital for accurate financial communications, banks should thoroughly evaluate potential language service partners. Here are key factors to look for:
- Industry experience: Seek vendors with proven experience handling financial and banking content. They understand industry terminology and nuances.
- Language breadth: Look for vendors that cover an extensive range of languages. This ensures you can serve more customers who call or walk through your door.
- Security: Financial data security and privacy standards are a top priority, and it should be for your language partners as well.
- Quality interpreters: The language services provider should have specialized assessments to ensure its interpreters are skilled and adept with financial terminology.
The right translation and interpretation services partner can provide the expertise, security, and scalability needed to offer customers support in their preferred language. Taking the time to thoroughly vet providers ensures this critical component of multilingual banking is handled correctly. In addition to banks, explore other businesses that need financial translation services.
Look to Certified Languages International for Multilingual Banking Services
At CLI, we provide remote interpreting and translation services designed for the unique needs of banking and financial institutions. We provide video and over-the-phone interpretation and professional document translation services to cover all forms of communication.
CLI’s over-the-phone interpretation services are available 24/7/365 in 230+ languages, so you can instantly connect to a professional interpreter whenever needed. After setting up an account with us, all you need to do is dial our number, request the language(s) needed, and then you’ll be quickly connected with an interpreter.
Our video remote interpreting services allow you to connect with a video interpreter within moments. We offer interpreters in 21 spoken languages and American Sign Language (ASL). VRI provides a visual element so your customers can see the faces of those who speak their language.
CLI’s document translation services are accurate and timely. This service is available in 100+ languages by translators fluent in English and the target language. Plus, every document we translate is proofed, formatted, and proofed again to ensure complete accuracy.
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When you work with CLI, you’ll benefit from our services that follow guidelines for accuracy, including:
- Ensuring privacy: Our interpreters follow strict confidentiality protocols to maintain the privacy of limited English proficient (LEP) customers’ data. We never collect or store financial information from your LEP customers.
- Industry comprehension: Our professional interpreters have experience in banking and financial industries and can deliver accurate and consistent interpretations to your customers. With our expertise, your customers can feel confident making important financial decisions for their futures. Not only is this important for customers, but it helps demonstrate your commitment to professional service.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can banks provide documents in other languages?
Banks can translate key documents like account statements, disclosures, banking agreements, marketing materials, and their website into top languages spoken by customers. Accurate human translation is required (not just machine translation) for complex financial documents.
What multilingual services help customer experience?
Services like speaking with bilingual tellers at local branches, getting phone support from bilingual agents or interpreters, accessing banking apps in multiple languages, and reading documents translated into the customer’s language greatly improve the overall experience.