TD Tech is Innovating for Both Clients and Employees

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TD has unveiled some of the newest tech tools they’ve been working on. While some of these new features are in the pilot phase, some of the latest innovations have already been rolled out to consumers and their staff. Having experienced some of these tools firsthand and hearing the stories about why they were developed, I’m quite impressed with how TD has made technology a focus for its future.

Enter the metaverse

Although I didn’t try out the VR tools available (I’m too old for this stuff). TD showed off the metaverse they’ve created to help their interns get a feel for TD culture in a virtual reality setting. The program is in its pilot stage, but the idea is to create a virtual space where interns can network with fellow interns and employees at the bank. There are also live leadership and panel discussions, innovation challenges, and lunch & learns.

From an outsider looking in, this may seem like a gimmick, but the design of the TD metaverse was well thought out. The reality is that younger people have shorter attention spans and are looking for innovation. The TD metaverse was built to show interns what TD is capable of and to give them a reason to learn more about the company. That sure beats sitting through endless meetings during a traditional onboarding process.

Accessible digital products

The term accessible is often thrown around, but it usually applies to the real world. You’ll see more signage, wheelchair ramps, and elevators in public spaces, but what about people with low vision? During the pandemic, when many bank branches were closed, visually impaired people had to rely on online and telephone banking. Unfortunately, many financial institutions weren’t quite set up to handle this underrepresented demographic.

TD hired Brian Moore as a Senior Digital Accessibility Specialist to help bring inclusivity to TD. Moore, who’s blind, made sure that TD was developing the right product by ensuring accessibility was part of the project from the very beginning. 

Interestingly enough, TD has also developed accessible digital products for its staff. One such feature helps people with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) focus. This tool is special because it’s tied to the employee profile when they log in. There’s no need to tell a manager that they need special assistance. The tools are already available to them.

From closed captioning to voice commands, accessible tools are all around us. TD has just taken things further to ensure the banking experience is as good as it can be for its customers and employees.

Launching the careers of Black tech professionals

Even though many tech companies have recently laid off thousands of employees, there’s still a huge demand for diverse tech talent. Recognizing that recruiting the best people can be challenging, TD designed and launched the Obsidi Academy, a full-stack engineering program for Black-identified individuals. This three-month boot camp is meant to provide Black-identified individuals with training, mentorship, and a way to get into the tech and banking industries.

From TD’s standpoint, the program serves as an apprenticeship. Since they aim to hire many new tech workers over the next three years, the Obsidi Academy provides them with a constant stream of graduates who have already been exposed to TD’s culture. It’s also worth mentioning that TD was a launch sponsor and founding employer of the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN).

Evolving ideas

So where does TD get all these ideas from? I spoke to Imran Khan, Head of Global Innovation & Digital Experience, who told me that many ideas come from within TD. They have a system set up where TD employees can ask for specific features or tools to help with their workflow. This is essential since the tech team doesn’t have the same day-to-day interactions as many of their colleagues do.

Interestingly, Khan told me that a requested feature is sometimes a small job and takes less than two weeks to complete. Of course, there are also significant projects that can also take years to finish. In the end, TD is looking to use technology better not only for its customers but also for its staff.

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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