Has the Finance Sector Caught Up With Big Data?

By Tristan Anwyn

The finance sector has traditionally been slower on the uptake than other sectors when it comes to big data. It's easy to understand why: banks regularly deal with large volumes of sensitive data, so security is, and will always be, a top priority. As big data matures and more and more businesses see for themselves the benefits it can bring, the financial sector in Australia is starting to get a real taste of just how useful big data can be.

From risk management to better understanding their customers, big data offers Australian banks a wealth of new opportunities and information. What are some of the ways the financial sector is already using big data? And what can banks and other financial companies learn from it?

Banks Learning What Big Data Can Do for Them 

Some Australian financial companies are already making inroads into making big data work for them:

  1. Online lender K24 uses more than 10,000 data points to more carefully assess and score loan applications and help it make a decision;
  2. MasterCard plans to assess big data gleaned from Facebook to draw up more closely tailored online offers, which it will then sell on to banks in an effort to drive online sales;
  3. National Australia Bank has plans to gather customer behavioral insights from its Money Tracker program, which it can then use to recommend appropriate products and services;
  4. Westpac also uses big data from online and in branch transactions to offer recommended products in an effort to make sure customers feel personally known and cared about;
  5. ANZ uses big data to better understand its business customers and offer products that are tailored especially for them.

How Banks Can Use Big Data

As the article "How Big Data is Transforming the World of Finance" points out, big data has a range of potential uses for banks.

From risk management to the development of new products and services, to customer engagement, big data has many applications in the financial sector. Big data can help banks to tailor the products they offer to their customers, using precision targeting to offer financial products and services to the best candidates. This can save banks time spent marketing to the wrong people, and also increases customer satisfaction by providing a more personal service with more relevant offers.

Big data solutions can help banks with their security by making it quicker to flag up blacklisted credit cards, or any cards or accounts with potentially fraudulent activity on them. The ability to use big data when credit scoring or considering loan or credit applications means banks are better placed to flag up which customers might not be the most suitable candidates.

Banks can also make use of big data to find out more about customer behavior, to better ascertain what customers want and need, and whether or not they are delivering that. From website statistics to social media, banks have a huge amount of data at their fingertips which, if used right, can yield valuable insights that can be used to increase customer satisfaction and encourage life-long loyalty.

Big data is here to stay.

By being open to new technologies and new ways of working with data, the financial sector in Australia can build in better understanding of their customers and manage risks for a more secure and more personalized service.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, big data and banking.

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