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Why is a ‘Universal Customer View’ important to financial services?

Many of us in the data industry have become familiar with the term Single Customer View (SCV) over the last decade. Those that have worked on an SCV project will have seen how they can improve data management processes, save on marketing costs or improve your customer experiences.

However, with many SCVs being focussed on just one of those outcomes, there has sometimes been an air of disappointment with the results. Some organisations have even ended up with multiple SCVs for different purposes that don’t agree when there is an urgent need to bring together data for another reason, such as a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR).

In financial services, a range of regulatory and industry changes have brought the importance of better data management processes to the fore. Whether it be to understand the total invested by or loaned to an individual, the number of policies or accounts held by someone across a complex organisation, or to reduce the risk of problem debt occurring; the new regulations designed to help banks and lenders treat customers fairly are all enabled by better data management.

With the advent of open banking and the growth of innovative FinTech start-ups, we at Experian see opportunities to take a single view of the customer beyond a single-issue solution to something more fundamental and ultimately more powerful. We call this a ‘Universal Customer View’.

By combining the base data matching and pinning technology of an SCV with a range of data enrichments, analytical capabilities and hosting options; a ‘Universal Customer View’ (UCV) can be leveraged to realise all the aforementioned benefits, whilst also opening up new opportunities to focus your organisation on meeting the needs of customers, colleagues and regulators now, and in the future.

Universal Customer View in practice

Let’s look at a theoretical example of how this could work.

Sarah has been a customer of Happy Bank for a number of years. With a savings account opened by her parents when she was eight to a student current account when she was 18, car finance loan, contents insurance from Happy Insurance, currency exchange with Happy Travel, a credit card and potentially a mortgage soon, it’s safe to say that Sarah is one of those rare things – a loyal, lifetime customer.

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Sarah’s husband also has a current account with a supermarket who have opened a co-branded bank with Happy, so they can save money on their weekly shop with extra loyalty points.

Sarah’s relationship with Happy Bank means that there are records for her under multiple addresses, different surnames and across different databases, as well as financial links to her parents and husband. Unfortunately, without bringing data on Sarah together, Happy Bank don’t necessarily know how loyal Sarah is. They can’t anticipate her future needs for a mortgage and the associated services that come with it such as buildings insurance, home improvement loans or extended credit card limits ready for life’s big moments.

However, by creating a ‘Universal Customer View’, Happy Bank could not only deploy a unique identifier (based upon Experian credit data) across their data silos but they could also enrich their data with demographic models, life event triggers and other first and third party information to power the kinds of experiences that would reward loyal customers such as Sarah and her family.

Some potential innovations that could be created include:

  • Using the records of Sarah’s existing accounts to offer her a better mortgage rate.
  • When Sarah moves, use her mortgage data to offer the right services such as home insurance at the right time and potentially reduced credit card rates for a limited time to help pay for household essentials.
  • A purchase of travel insurance or foreign currency flags a deal to Sarah’s mobile for the other service at a preferential rate.
  • Working with the supermarket banking partner to boost the number of loyalty points and thus the savings on the family’s groceries with new joint products.
  • Making all of Sarah’s personal and transactional data available to her in a single app so she can manage all her money and accounts in one place.
  • Using open banking to partner with organisations who can offer Sarah other services such as deals on utilities, mobile phones and a new car.
  • Using analytical tools from Experian and other partners, Happy Bank will be able to find more customers like Sarah and provide them with similarly unique and tailored propositions.

Powering big opportunities

As well as innovation in products and services, UCV allows Happy Bank to meet their regulatory requirements with minimal effort – freeing up data and IT colleagues for further innovation rather than data maintenance.

This theoretical example is just a small one. There will be unique opportunities for every financial services organisation to do more with their data, cut costs, boost innovation and ultimately offer a more tailored and valued service to customers.

If you’d like to find out more about how a ‘Universal Customer View’ can support individual banking services and better regulatory response, contact us. You can also discover more about how we can help for financial services organisations in our solutions brochure.