Banking / Finance

Can big data recreate personal touch of bygone banking? RBS thinks so

Christian Nelissen, the self-proclaimed “Data Guy” at Royal Bank of Scotland, wants to bring banking back to the 1970s.
Not in the sense of bell-bottoms, alligator shirts and pet rocks, and certainly not COBOL programs and mainframes. What Nelissen aims to do is bring back the type of personal relationship customers used to have with their local bank branch manager, albeit through data analytics. (His official title at the bank is head of data and analytics.)
“The bank manager was someone who really cared about you, he wasn’t just there to make more money from you,” said Nelissen, who is based in London. “I’m trying to hark back to that time when the bank manager made a difference in the community.”
In trying to use Big Data to build stronger relationships with customers, RBS is taking a path also being followed by U.S. financial institutions, including USAA, Citi and Wells Fargo, all of which are building omnichannel analytics that, among other things, hand data from one channel (such as mobile) to another (such as the call center). The goal is to create a consistent experience for customers no matter how they interact with the bank.
Can an analytics engine really bring warmth and trust back to customer relationships?
“We have more information about our customers now than we’ve ever had,” Nelissen said. “Customers do more with us, we see more transaction activity and we know the detail of a lot of transaction activity. We see them spending money, we see them online. And we still have conversations with them and we can capture conversations.”

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