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Dave O’Flanagan
17 September 2017

Banks and the road to personalisation

If you work in the financial services industry, you might feel a bit like Dorothy after she landed in Oz. Change is everywhere – especially when it comes to customer expectations. The modern customer is expecting convenient, personalized interactions with their bank, especially when it comes to online and mobile interactions. So how can banks follow the yellow brick road to digital transformation?

The availability of Big Data and the rise of intelligent technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way companies engage with their customers. Customers expect companies to deliver them offers and content that is relevant to them. In fact, nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of online customers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests.

Unfortunately, the financial services industry has been slow to adopt technology-driven personalization. A recent digital banking report found that “roughly 40 percent of all but the very largest financial institutions consider themselves ‘static,’ meaning they offer no personalization within their application.” And now traditional banks have a new type of competition: challenger banks, such as Atom and Monzo. With mobile-only banking on the rise, banks need to become customer-driven and utilize data management and technology to deliver personalization at scale.

When was the last time you spoke to a bank teller? It might be too long to remember. Yet a study from Accenture found that the average customer has 10 digital interactions with its main bank per month. While customers may be visiting less physical banks, customers are still engaging with their banking providers and expecting meaningful interactions.

In order to deliver on those expectations, banks need to think beyond channels. Many banks are marketing to customers based on rules and decisions for a specific channel, i.e. email, social media or web. If the bank’s technologies aren’t connected across channels, they run the risk of losing sight of a customer once they change from their mobile to a laptop device. A single customer view is crucial to impactful personalization and long-term customer loyalty.

The modern customer is expecting convenient, personalized interactions with their bank

It’s a combination of disconnected data and the lack of automated decision-making from a central source. Banks need to have real-time behavioral customer data from purchases, web browsing sessions and in-person engagements and interactions via kiosks, email, mobile applications and websites. By uniting their data (behavioral, transactional and historical) into a single view of the customer, banks can become truly customer-centric and amplify cross-selling by managing the communication stream across multiple channels.

If you work in financial services and AI isn’t on your radar, it should be. AI is allowing banks to personalize at scale, which is necessary when you’re trying to achieve individualized, 1:1 personal attention to millions of customers. For example, if a customer starts the process of opening a savings account online but doesn’t complete the transaction, this will trigger the smart AI-based solution to determine if the bank should take the action to send a follow-up email to set an appointment at a physical branch and, hopefully, seal the deal.

Some banks have already started to invest in virtual assistants to interact with their customers via chatbots. Chatbots are essentially predicting and triggering changes in customer behavior with AI. The power to serve every customer in this way – on any channel – gives banks unlimited potential to grow their business.

The UK recently introduced the Open Banking Standard, a new piece of legislation under which “banking data will be shared through secure open APIs so that customers, be it individuals or businesses, can more effectively manage their wealth.” In other words, banks can securely share financial data with other financial companies so that customer records are accurate across all their financial accounts and applications. Customers can manage their accounts and make financial decisions without having to move between platforms. It’s a win-win situation for banks and their customers, demonstrating how banks are adapting to a customer-centric model.

If you’d like to talk through how Boxever can help you in your personalisation strategy or how technology can enable you to harness data that actually serves customers, drop us a line at or on Twitter – we’d love to chat.

Dave O’Flanagan

Dave is CEO at Boxever – a market-leading personalisation platform that uses data and AI to make every customer interaction smarter. Boxever is recognised by Gartner as a leading player in personalisation and ranked by Forbes alongside Google, Apple and Amazon as one of the most powerful examples of AI in use today.