Story image

The key to financial institutions’ path to digital dominance

13 Dec 18

Article by Appian APAC vice president Karen Astley

The availability of information is booming.

In the past few years, we have seen exponential growth in the amount of meaningful data created and in the computing power available to process and store that data.

By 2020, about 1.7 megabytes a second of new information will be created for every human being on the planet.

Yet, some researchers suggest that less than 0.5% of all data is ever analysed and used.

To not only survive, but thrive in today’s competitive environment, financial services institutions must be hyper-focused on retaining their existing customers, and continually growing their customer base.

This requires reliable insight into customer trends as well as historical data.

Financial institutions sit on a treasure trove of data, from a growing number of sources which may not be well-organised or may come from third-party sources or social media.

When data is fragmented across multiple legacy, product-focused, and siloed systems, it can be increasingly difficult to apply intelligence, forecasting, predictive analytics, or machine learning to glean actionable insights.

To gain a competitive edge in today’s dynamic, digital global marketplace, financial institutions must evolve into data-centric organisations.

Use data to extend value across the customer journey

There is enormous opportunity for financial institutions to more effectively use the data they have to create value for customers and for their business.

With a focus on improving the customer journey, financial institutions can deepen customer relationships and develop trust.

Data can help to build that trust in many ways — for instance, helping customers make smarter purchasing and payment decisions, or providing education around fraud protection.

Financial institutions can leverage technology-driven innovation and use data to support financial inclusion, develop cheaper and better services, and increase efficiency.

Approaching data-fueled innovation as a tool for enabling better customer engagement–not simply as a defensive strategy against traditional and non-bank competitors — can allow financial institutions to reap the rewards of customer insights that translate into higher revenues.

Here are five ways financial institutions can leverage the data they already have to provide increased value across the customer journey:

Personalised recommendations

Financial institutions can leverage content, data, and analytics to deliver personalised, relevant, and real-time product recommendations to their customers. 

Personalisation of financial services must inform the customer’s journey through real-time delivery of targeted content across any platform, at any time.

This type of hyper-personalisation is part of the “high-octane” financial institutions need to fuel their digital future with differentiated offerings that integrate solutions into the lives of their customers.

Customer support

Contact centres are pivotal points in the customer journey.

Financial institutions must develop strategies based on the actionable insights from their client’s data and empower contact centre agents to cultivate customer loyalty by providing an integrated, single view of the customer.

Technology-driven innovation such as AI-powered sentiment analysis can be a powerful tool in enabling this type of personalised customer engagement.

Risk modelling

Financial institutions can use process automation to assist in middle and back office operations, including risk model development.

Using an integrated platform to connect data sources, financial institutions can measure the chances of unfavourable and unforeseen events affecting the bank, and be better prepared with likely remedies if such a situation arises.

These risk models can be used to reduce credit risk, market risk and operational risk.

Predicting and preventing fraud

When financial institutions can predict and prevent fraud rather than acting after the fact, they can achieve huge savings.

Using the data they already have access to, financial institutions can understand activity patterns among their own customers and the broader industry, especially around emerging attack vectors and threats.

Financial institutions should be data-driven, not outcome-driven. Rather than focus on a desired outcome such as reducing card fraud, financial institutions should look at the big picture that the data reveals.

Measuring success

Financial institutions can use their data to understand where they are succeeding, and why they aren’t performing as well.

With a unified platform that allows access to real-time and historical data across various systems, there is increased flexibility to measure and report on programs and products.