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By James Blake, CEO of big data firm Hello Soda

James Blake

The world of financial services is changing at the hands of big data and disrupting the business-as-usual mentality. Intelligent analysis of online digital footprints is arming financial services firms with in-depth insights never accessed before.

In the past, banks would personally meet with their customers, an interaction which enabled the bank manager to better understand the individual. But with the internet revolution, a degree of this was lost and while pioneering for financial services with increased digital footprints and collection of customer data, understanding an individual customer and the true fabric of their life was not as accessible.

While a bank knows how much you earn and how you spend your money they don’t know about that promotion you were recently offered, are moving house,or that you are expecting a pay raise- all factors which are predictive of future financial status. Now though, with the increase of available data, and new and innovative software products available, banks can get personal again.

Take the stage, big data.

Getting personal again

The digital age means there is more customer data than ever before, but for the most part, banks are not making good use of it. So how can the financial services industry make their marketing more effective to better connect with their customers and prospects?

There are more 18-21-year-olds on Facebook than on the Electoral Register. The average internet user has 90 online accounts. Every 60 seconds sees 3.3 million Facebook posts, 422,340 tweets and more than 55,000 photos uploaded on Instagram. But currently, due to the vast amount of unwanted and irrelevant marketing, the average click-through rate in the industry globally is just 3% and the use of big data to better personalise and target consumers, would see this rise.

Intelligent analysis of online digital footprints to give unprecedented insights into consumer preferences and behaviour can not only increase engagement with financial services globally, but it can also be used to boost financial inclusion, detect fraud, enhance contactless and e-commerce and enable more targeted marketing.

By applying advanced data analytics, natural language processing, the big five personality traits and other psycholinguistic profiling techniques to people’s digital footprint, financial services firms can get up close and personal to the benefit of the provider and customer. Take financial inclusion for example, the under-banked and those without the ID needed to open a bank account, can be verified through their digital footprint rather than be excluded from services they need to access.

With consumers’ consent, banks can integrate big data analytics into the sign-up process would allow banks to discover when users are most active online, what their interests and hobbies are, any key life events like graduation or moving house, and to tailor both their approach and what they actually offer accordingly to maximise customer acquisition and retention. This capability enables banks to determine risk and generate alternative credit scores, opening up potentially life-changing opportunities for those traditionally deemed undesirable applicants.

‘Unexpected’ transactions made abroad won’t be so unexpected when you have gleaned that your customer has been planning a trip to Australia with their friends, eliminating the embarrassment and inconvenience of a blocked bank card. Likewise, a “congratulations” in a marketing email when they have just received a promotion or got married could personalise the bank-to-consumer relationship in a way that promotes customer loyalty. Banks can use this data to not only for acquiring customers, but for customer retention also and ensure customers feel valued again.

Advanced big data analytics technologies help banks regain the connectivity with customers that they used to have pre-digitisation by utilising the digital footprint to refine the decision-making process, streamline the user journey, and personalise offerings.

The revolution has begun

Innovations being delivered by the team at big data analytics firm, Hello Soda reveals the far-reaching possibilities of big data in financial services and how it can positively impact both the consumer and businesses. The FinTech revolution is creating opportunities for the industry to innovate and take major steps forward when it comes to financial inclusion, ID verification, tackling fraud, debt management and more accurately targeting consumers with personalised offers instead of bombarding them with irrelevant ones.

The information is there to be unlocked.

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