An ecstatic banker holds a hand up in victory after making a new deal.

Why Interpreters in Banking Are Important

As demographics in the U.S. continue to diversify, banks and financial institutions face a growing need for professional banking interpretation services to serve multilingual customers better. 

By partnering with qualified banking interpreters, financial organizations can reduce compliance issues, improve customer experiences, and tap into new multicultural markets.

Challenges Created by Language Barriers in Banking

A major disadvantage of monolingual banking practices is that many customers struggle to fully comprehend complex financial terminology, products, and services in English. This creates several problems:

  • Difficulty understanding details: Without interpreters, non-English speakers may not grasp important details in documents like loan agreements, disclosures, statements, and fee structures. This lack of understanding creates confusion and dissatisfaction.
  • Missed sales opportunities: Banks that aren’t serving diverse communities miss tremendous revenue opportunities. Multicultural markets present huge potential.
  • Reputational damage: Negative sentiment and mistrust may spread among non-English speakers when banks lack accommodations like interpreters. This hurts their reputation.

Benefits of Banking Interpreters

Integrating professional interpreters experienced in financial topics can help banks minimize risks and capitalize on opportunities like:

Enabling Clear Communication

Interpreters allow staff and customers to communicate intricate details accurately in the customer’s preferred language. This leads to a complete understanding of complex products, avoiding miscommunications between the bank and the customers.

Improving Understanding

By working with interpreters, banks can thoroughly explain financial products and services, reduce confusion, and ensure customers fully grasp concepts like loan terms, investment risks, and insurance policies.

Offering New Services 

Precise interpretations of all agreements, disclosures, and disclaimers ensure customers comprehend the proper legal context of what they’re agreeing to. It also removes barriers to certain banking products, like opening a checking account or accessing credit, that previously felt unavailable to certain populations. 

Delivering Specialized Expertise

Qualified banking interpreters have familiarity with complex financial terminology and industry lingo not easily interpreted by untrained individuals. 

Building Trusting Relationships

When customers feel genuinely respected and included, they develop greater trust and loyalty with the bank. Interpreters can help banks build trust with the customers they serve and also humanize interactions.

Improving Reputation

Providing interpreters shows a bank’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion — greatly improving public reputation and customer sentiment among multicultural communities.

Learn More about the Best Practices for Remote Interpretations

Expertise Interpreters Offer in Banking Interpretation

Banking interpretation requires highly specialized skills. The best interpreters possess:

Financial Familiarity 

Familiarity with financial terminology, industry knowledge, banking operations, regulations, and product offerings. They understand complex concepts like risk, hedging, derivatives, mortgages, credit, and investments.

Ongoing Training

The best interpreters invest in continual learning and development. This helps them stay updated on the latest financial products, services, and terminology. 

Interpersonal Skills

Interpreters must possess strong listening, communication, and people skills to facilitate financial conversations between bank staff and customers.

Privacy and Security

Professional interpreters should follow strict protocols for protecting sensitive customer information and maintaining privacy during financial interpretations. This is especially important in an industry like banking that’s a personal matter.

Choosing Banking Interpreters

When selecting interpretation partners, banks should look for:

  • Industry experience: A strong track record serving major banks and financial institutions
  • Security and compliance: Robust protocols to protect sensitive customer information and support compliance
  • Multilingual breadth: Availability of many languages beyond just Spanish 

Find Professional Financial Interpreting with CLI

At Certified Languages International, we understand the complex needs of financial institutions when it comes to interpretation and translation. With over-the-phone and video interpreting and document translation, we offer a range of options to meet your needs. With our services, you can harness the benefits of remote interpretation for your business.

Further, our interpreters are highly qualified and possess industry expertise. 

When you work with us, you’ll benefit from:

Our professional interpreters are fluent in over 230 languages and are ready to support your banking business. Request a quote or learn more about our language services.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can banks provide interpreters across channels?

Banks can offer video and phone interpreting at local branches. Phone interpreters are also perfect for call center environments.

How can banks find experienced banking interpreters?

Vetted interpretation agencies that have a record of servicing the financial services industry are the best option. 

How can banks measure ROI from interpretations?

Key metrics include usage rates, customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue from multilingual segments before and after adding professional interpreters.