Westpac Banking Corp head of customer relationship marketing and digital Karen Ganschow says the bank’s KnowMe is a program designed to collect and analyse customer data before suggesting what banking products they may be interested in. Photo: Dom Lorrimer
Westpac is set to start using the internet browsing history of its customers to help sell them new banking products such as home loans and credit cards.
The move is the latest development in big data, which involves collecting and organising vast quantities of disparate information about people to glean valuable insights and patterns.
Westpac head of customer relationship marketing and digital Karen Ganschow, who is due to join a big data panel at the CeBIT show in Sydney, said KnowMe was a program designed to collect and analyse customer data before suggesting what banking products they may be interested in.
For example, if a Westpac customer spent time on the bank's website looking at term deposits, they would be offered one the next time they logged into their account or went to the bank.
She also said that the system tracked when and where customers were charged for using non-Westpac ATMs. If one specific area or ATM is used often, bank staff would tell the customer where the nearest Westpac ATM was to help them save money.
"If the offer is really key and needs actioning the system will actually make an outbound call either from the branch . . . or from a centralised call centre," she said. "We want to get our insights and learnings to the point where we have something that is relevant to the customer every time they interact with us.
"[Before KnowMe] the number of customers with an offer was sub-1 per cent . . . and now it's 25 per cent. We have a goal of reaching 80 per cent." Ms Ganschow said the system would only track the internet behaviour of users on its own website.
"We certainly use the fact that we can see them coming from, say, Carsales.com, as a clear source of insight," she said.
"We're chunking it down in stages so [tracking where customers go externally] could definitely be interesting but right now there's a lot of gold in tapping into what customers do in online banking and what they do on the un-logged-in parts of our website."
WESTPAC'S PLATFORM 'AHEAD OF THE GAME'
Ms Ganschow said the bank had already recouped the cost of its tech investments by boosting the number of accepted offers and that even customers who declined reported being happier with the service provided.
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