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Personalization for Financial Institutions
16 May, 2019

“Personalization” is a hot topic within the customer experience world. The core concept of personalization is to establish a brand interaction and customer journey that feels less like a major corporate personality, and more like a reflection of the customer making a purchase. When this concept is applied to financial services, delivery looks like a financial institution that understands its customers’ personal finances, anticipates their activity to alert them when they might make mistakes, protects them against fraudulent activity and proactively supplies them with information and resources to help them make the best decisions possible for their unique financial situations.


Financial institutions should use AI and machine learning to understand their customers’ typical banking activities. What are their bills? How often do they get paid? What are typical internal transfer amounts for them? When a financial institution automates the collection and analysis of this information, they can prevent customers from making errors that might inconvenience them. For example, protecting against overdrafts is possible when financial institutions automatically generate alerts about low account balances. Similarly, when machine learning knows what average transfer or payment amounts are for an individual customer, it can point out to the customer when she makes an unusual action, such a large payment or transfer, and verify this atypical action is intended by the customer.

Alerting for Security

When customers are contacted with specific questions and information about potential fraud on their accounts, it reinforces the idea that they are more than a number to financial institution. Instead, they know they are being treated with a high degree of importance and detail. Potential fraud alerts also ensure them that they can have confidence their financial institution will look out for them, rather than having to closely monitor any unusual activity themselves. Similarly, alerting customers when unusual logins happen, or when out-of-the-ordinary purchases are made makes customers feel in control of their financial security and appreciated by their financial institution.

Informing and Guiding

More than ever before, customers are looking to their financial institutions for help and advice in their personal finances, rather than simply viewing their financial institution as a house for their assets. Budgeting tools, creative investing options and debt repayment psychological tools only scratch the surface of the new world of personal finance tools customers now have at their fingertips. Rather than trying to offer these solutions alone, financial institutions should make sure their data sharing protocol is up to par and work to establish meaningful FinTech partnerships. FinTech organizations can utilize customer data to help provide this type of guiding, and these experiences transform the financial institution from a service vendor to a well-informed and invested partner.

Proactively Offering Solutions

Beyond offering advice and feedback about customers’ personal finances, financial institutions should be able to use customer data to create tailored offerings for customers that feel timely and valuable. Internally, financial institutions should think about loans, special accounts like CDs and applicable investment opportunities as areas where customer data can help navigate a sophisticated and applicable pitch. By doing this, financial institutions grow their level of intimacy with a customer, benefit from a larger customer portfolio and open the door for future recommendations.

Beyond internal selling opportunities, financial institutions can use customer data to create meaningful third-party partnerships, where customer data can help guide what type of partnership would be beneficial, and customers can be provided with incentives (such as rewards and discounts) for continued loyalty. Additionally, pre-qualification for certain offers, such as loans, can help streamline the process and make sure any loans customers consider are applicable and readily available to them.