New Value Banking

Suchit Shah

Suchit Shah

Yes, you can monetize your community bank’s data

By Suchit Shah

Community banks store much more customer data today than in past years. Everything from transactions to inquiries, text messages to online reviews serve as the basis for a virtual treasure-trove of consumer insights and applications. The trouble is their data are often sourced from and stored in disparate sources, making meaningful analysis incrementally more difficult.

Leaders in the community banking industry are asking when and how to tap into this data. Among those contemplating the answers, some of the more inquisitive are beginning also to wonder if data can be monetized.

Can community banks sort, analyze and manipulate their data and then put it to revenue-generating use?

Yes, but first, they must master the art of merging data to create a single (and marketable) view of customers. This would illustrate for a community bank’s staff, as well as its potential partners, how a customer or segment of customers behaves across products.

Getting to that single view of the customer will help a community bank make better decisions in four areas:

1. Risk management: If a customer has a loan and a credit-card account, for instance, a single view can allow lending teams a clearer picture of that customer’s payment history. With the increased information, lenders can manage accounts more aggressively and offer competitive pricing and promotions that fit the complete risk profile of the customer.

2. Marketing: Leveraging history and response behavior across campaigns and departments can allow marketers to create highly targeted offers to customers, greatly increasing the chances of success.

3. Customer service: Knowing if a certain customer works best with a certain staff member, a bank can route the customer’s calls to that employee. If the customer comes online, a bank could display Web content most relevant to him or her based on previous online movements.

4. Merchant-based incentives: Banks can help area retailers deliver relevant, highly targeted offers to customers based on their transaction history.

Big Data can open new revenue streams by boosting the value of important relationships, but only when properly synced and analyzed. Developing the capabilities to complete this type of work now will generate more income for community banks just when consumers and merchants alike would welcome greater value from their bank.


Suchit Shah (suchit.shah@iqrconsulting.com) is a senior consultant for IQR Consulting, an international technology consulting and software firm with U.S. headquarters in Rohnert Park, Calif.

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