Personal banking back on the map

By Olivia Blake 06 Jun 2013

A clever new mapping tool is set to revive and reshape personalised banking by giving financial institutions the foresight to accurately anticipate their customers’ needs.

The new innovation, launched by leading digital mapping specialist MapData Services (MDS), allows banks to create a ‘mega’ customer profile which contains standard client data, as well as insight into the type of home best suited to them; the time it takes them to commute to work; or even how likely they are to be affected by flood or fire.

This major advancement comes as the financial services sector looks for ways to reconnect with their customers, after the Westpac Melbourne Institute of Consumer Sentiment reported an 11.7 per cent fall in consumer sentiment in the past two months alone.

Speaking at a major financial services technology conference today, MDS Financial Services Specialist Loretta Pearman said the tool would enable banks to offer an unprecedented level of personalised service, by essentially ‘predicting’ their customers’ needs.

“The new system takes a bank’s existing customer data – such as age, address and employment details – and ‘mashes it up’ with information on local property prices, nearby social infrastructure, or wider geodemographic information,” Ms Pearman said.

“The result is a ‘mega’ customer profile that uses location-based trends and patterns to build a more complete picture of a customer than ever before.

“For example, during an investment property loan application, the bank can use the tool to identify properties for sale that meet their customer’s exact needs.

“Because our offering incorporates the most comprehensive data available on every single property in Australia – including price, historic and projected rental yields and past rental records – banks could recommend homes perfectly suited to the customer’s budget, preferred location and financial strategy.

“The tool is also equipped with risk analysis data that means banks can inform their customers about the likelihood of a property being hit by floods, fire or other natural disasters – threats that are highly relevant in our volatile environment.”

Ms Pearman said the tool could also reveal insight into customer requirements, by drawing on information such as nearby public transport options; a suburb’s crime rate; and distances to schools, shopping centres, hospitals and community groups.

“By viewing and analysing this information, financial institutions can take the guesswork out of customer profiling, to truly understand what drives and affects their customers.

“Imagine if your bank could advise you about what type of home insurance you need depending on your local crime rate or the likelihood of a fire striking your area.

“Picture being offered a credit card which doesn’t incur extra charges or fees from vendors at your local shopping centre.

“It’s a ‘new generation’ banking experience – that will see customers provided with more relevant products and services.”

Ms Pearman unveiled the tool today at the Future of Banking and Financial Services Conference in Melbourne– the Asia Pacific sector’s largest technology event.

She said the solution would also enable banks to become more responsive in all their services including general branch operations.

“Banks can layer customer demographics on maps of their existing branch networks to locate where demand for particular services may exist,” Ms Pearman said.

“This means that where there is an area with an abundance of university students, for example, bank tellers who specialise in personal loans can be assigned.

“Similarly, branches in locations that have a prevalence of particular languages or cultures could be staffed by multi-lingual personnel.

“Matching services to demand in this way raises the quality of personalised customer service to a completely new level that has never been seen in the banking sector.

“Essentially, the tool enables banks to get more out of their existing data – and it provides customers with a more personalised, relevant banking experience than anyone thought possible.”

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