Monday, June 17, 2013

Using Big Data To Predict Online & Mobile Banking Needs

Investing in online and mobile channels was not intended to simply provide additional channels for customers to access their accounts. The promise of reduced costs, increased cross-sales and enhanced service was the objective for most banks.

The good news is that online and mobile channel adoption is very high, meaning that customers are downloading mobile banking apps to their phones and creating online access points at a high rate. Unfortunately, that’s where the momentum has stopped.

Third in a Series on Big Data in Banking

Instead of migrating more expensive interactions to less costly channels, consumers have actually increased their total interactions. “In talking to all types of banks across the globe, we’re hearing a similar story – customers are signing-up for online and mobile banking, but calls into the call centers are not decreasing at any noticeable rate,” says Ido Ophir, head of products at Personetics. “People are still calling with transaction-related questions and even account-level questions.”  

A recent industry report revealed that more than 30 percent of customer service calls were preceded by an online visit. That’s a large percentage, especially when the vast majority of these questions can easily be answered in the digital self-services channels.

Based on the numbers being reported by large banks, while they have several million signed up for digital banking services, less than 10% are using mobile banking in any real capacity each month. So, while banks have done a great job of signing up consumers for online and mobile banking, customers are not fully leveraging what these self-service channels have to offer. The utilization problem actually goes even further - most customers log in to check balances or look at individual transaction details, but only a very small percent use in-depth or multiple features like funds transfers and check image deposits on a regular basis.

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System  - Consumers and Mobile Financial Services (March 2013) 

The question is, what’s stopping them?  Is it that:
  • They don’t want anything else? . . . Show me the balance and I’m done.
  • They can’t find what they’re looking for? . . . They get frustrated and leave.
  • The service they want isn’t offered? . . . Only high-level transaction inquiry; no detailed information.
  • They aren’t sure what they’re looking for? . . . Expecting better personal guidance.
  • They don’t know what to do or where to go? . . . Poor user interface.

Ophir from Personetics added, “Whatever the reason, or combination of reasons, it’s costing banks money because customers are still picking up the phone to call customer service. To realize the full benefit of digital self-service channels, and save money, financial institutions need to personalize the digital experience by immediately presenting the customer with the most relevant insights, issues and services they need to know about at that moment in time and offer the right tools and information to resolve problems quickly or walk them down an intuitive path to answer their own questions.”

Here are five top tips for simplifying the customer journey and increasing digital self-service channel utilization:
  1. Make your mobile and online channels SIMPLE to use. Make the navigation intuitive for your users.
  2. Bring relevant issues, features and services to the forefront. Don’t make customers search for answers or information. The experience should be effortless.
  3. Make smart recommendations before a problem arises. As soon as the customer logs in, alert them to a potential problem (i.e., low balance, unusual transactions, spending patterns trending differently than previous months, etc.).
  4. Let your customers be in control. They want to control the time, place, channel and information that they share with their bank. Give them that power.
  5. Make the experience seamless across all your self-service channels. Your customers use various channels when contacting you depending on their preferences and circumstances. Make sure they have the same experience every time.
Personetics has built a packaged solution specifically for the banking industry that predicts customer intent and helps banks convert passive digital adopters into active digital customers. The customer experience is intuitive, convenient and always relevant. Personetics helps its clients reduce overall service costs and increase share of wallet. The solution can be seamlessly embedded in any existing banking digital self-service channels to provide customers with a personalized and consistent user experience.

Using Big Data to Predict Needs

Each time a user log in to one of a bank's or credit union's digital channels, Personetics reviews the customer's information and highlights what’s important to them at that immediate moment such as reminding them of an upcoming bill or that their balance is trending lower than usual. These insights are tightly coupled with personalized and relevant calls-to-action such as establishing automatic bill payment or overdraft protection on a checking account.

Personetics also analyzes individual items such as transactions. It will offer customers robust details regarding an item and provide contextual assistance that guides the customer through the necessary service process whether that’s disputing a charge or simply trying to remember it.

Personetics addresses the information silo challenge that many banks have by leveraging readily available banking data, the context of specific customer interactions, individual customer activity and crowd behavior to accurately predict customer intent. The solution comes pre-loaded with a comprehensive library of banking-specific analytics and solutions – with more being added every day.

The system “learns” from individual customer interactions, as well as crowd behavior, to present customers with a personalized and prioritized list of “need-to-know” topics every time they log on. The fact is, customers don’t always know what to ask, they want someone to take care of them and tell them that everything is ok or alert them to potential problem areas. 

Intelligent assistance provided at the moment of interaction eliminates unnecessary calls into call centers. In fact, some Personetics’ customers have seen more than 90% call deflection when Personetics has been invoked.

Using patent-pending technology, Personetics maps to a bank's existing data and augments that with industry and proprietary databases and crowd sourcing analytics to create a robust view that can help to predict customer intent.:
  • Smart Hints & Data Enrichment – includes prior interactions, bank documents, industry databases, and geolocation. All of this data provides a complete picture of a customer and allows Personetics to present the most relevant solutions possible.
  • Out-of-the-Box Knowledge Model – Personetics has built a solution that understands financial services – the processes, technology and language of this industry. They’ve already developed a robust model that defines accounts, cards, transaction types, etc. so you don’t have to. This out-of-the-box functionality allows for quick implementation.
  • Pre-built Processes and Solutions – Personetics spent nearly two years building the business logic that makes up their comprehensive solutions library. This means that banks and credit unions don’t need to dedicate a team of developers and thousands of hours to creating the vast amount of scripts that make Personetics “intelligent.” They’ve included the most common banking-related topics so that on day one, customers are interacting with an intelligent virtual personal banking assistant who can solve their many of their problems.
  • Profile-based Prediction – Predictive algorithms are used to determine the most likely solution to solve the customer's issue or answer a question. The process is repeated until it comes to a successful conclusion – either solving the issue or deciding at what point to hand over the customer to a live agent.
  • Search and Aggregate Transaction Data – Many of the questions require customers to look for data, filter specific transactions and calculate results. Personetics does this in real time using their own server.

Using the process above, Personetics can also be used to introduce new products and services to increase a bank’s share of wallet. Using the same predictive engine and available data, the solution can make personalized offers to customers at the moment of truth – when a customer is actively engaged with an institution. 

Data shows that customers are more likely to sign up for a new service or product when they have a live example of how your bank can simplify their life. Shortly after Isracard, a major international card issuer, deployed Personetics to offer up-sell recommendations, they found that nearly half of customers accepted the new product or service – an astounding statistic that is well above the current industry average.

If banks and credit unions don’t step-up their game they’ll lose mind share with their consumers. There are more and more options for digital users outside traditional banks and credit unions to manage their overall finances make payments and save money electronically. Those new entrants are offering state-of-the-art digital experiences, which is enough of an enticement to win over dissatisfied customers.

For a quick video on how the Personetics solution works, click below:

Additional Resources

Personetics Predictive Customer Service - The Nilson Report (March 2013)

Mobile Banking Features on B of A’s Drawing Board - American Banker (April 2013)

Consumers and Mobile Financial ServicesBoard of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (March 2013)

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