Effective use of data management can bring rewards for bank managers

Top brass must take the lead to form mutually beneficial and unconventional partnerships that provide services and immersive experiences

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 June, 2016, 6:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 June, 2016, 10:58am

Imagine a Hong Kong bank customer who wants to buy a village house with “some green space”. What could an agile, digitally savvy Hong Kong bank of the future do with this information?

An agile bank could help the customer find realtors who are willing to show houses in the new territories and on outlying islands. When the customer is ready to move, that bank could price shop and schedule movers for the customer. And once the buyer moves into the dream home, the bank could help them remodel with a preferred financing option, which could even be added to the monthly mortgage payment, and get a discount on a security system bundled with an umbrella home insurance policy.

That’s what banks could and should be doing. Why? Banks have to start offering more services to customers if they want to retain loyalty, cross-sell products and services and simply stay relevant in customers’ lives.

A path for bankers to navigate the data management minefield

But how should bank management move from dreaming up customer-friendly solutions to delivering them? They could:

• Use cross-device systems to unify customer profiles, pooling all data and all devices. Agile banks could deliver seamless cross-channel customer experiences using beacon technology and geo-fencing within physical spaces to interact with customers’ devices and provide relevant information and offers. Banks could also enable customers to start a transaction from their device, and use the same device to authenticate and complete the transaction at a chosen physical location.

• Offer programmatic marketing that empowers banks to make automated, data-powered decisions in real-time about when and where to reach customers. This relies on data management platforms that store and cull rich customer attribute data from first-, second- and third-party data to build customer insight. Using this insight, data activation platforms place “made-for-me advertising” on paid and owned media channels to reach customers with highly specialised messages and offers. The focus is not on transactions, but rather is about connecting with people on an emotional level with experiences that are relevant to unique moments in their lives.

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• Leverage artificial intelligence platforms that enable meaningful one-to-one connections with thousands of customers, while limiting resource use and cutting costs.

To offer such services Hong Kong’s retail banks must elevate their own data management practises, developing standards and permissions and security controls. They also will need to forge smart, mutually beneficial – and often unconventional – partnerships to provide services and immersive experiences that extend beyond their customers’ financial lives: from the aforementioned realtors to movers to the retailers of plumbing and electricity fixtures that can be found in Wan Chai, for example.

Bank managers need to be across all of this – from driving an improved, constant relationship with customers to developing new relationships with a host of businesses (many which would be mom and pop shops and could be brand new relationships for the bank) across the city. It’s a whole new way of thinking about retail banking.

Ravi Chhabra leads Accenture’s financial services business in Hong Kong, providing strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services