Hosted by top 5 banking and fintech influencer, Jim Marous, Banking Transformed highlights the challenges facing the banking industry. Featuring some of the top minds in business, this podcast explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking.
Building Personalized Engagement Across Customer Lifecycles
Advancements in digital banking technologies, like mobile apps, chatbots and digital wallets allow banks to provide always-on, personalized experiences across the entire customer journey. Done well, financial institutions can increase early engagement and activation speed, reduce contact outreach and increase revenues.
Despite these advancements, challenges remain. Regulatory constraints, data privacy concerns, and technical complexities pose hurdles in fully realizing the potential of personalized banking. As a result, many firms are building third party collaborations to drive early personalization wins.
We have Jason Davies, Vice President, Product, Solutions & Customer Delivery at Flybits on the Banking Transformed podcast. We'll explore the opportunities and challenges faced by card issuers and all retail bankers as they strive to enhance the cardmembers' journey through personalized engagement.
This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by Flybits
Cardholder Lifecycle experiences designed to deliver personalization. An always-on solution that elevates cardholder experiences at every lifecycle stage, personalized for every moment. Deliver a remarkable customer experience in record time, while driving business results.
Hello, and welcome to Banking Transformed, the top podcast in retail banking. I'm your host, Jim Marous, Owner and CEO of the Digital Banking Report and co-publisher of The Financial Brand.
Jim Marous (00:21):
Advancements in digital banking technologies like mobile apps, chatbots, and digital wallets, allow banks to provide always on personalized engagement across an entire customer life cycle.
Jim Marous (00:34):
Done well, financial institutions can increase early engagement and activation at speed, reducing contact outreach, and increase in revenues. Despite these advancements, though, challenges remain.
Jim Marous (00:49):
Regulatory constraints, data privacy concerns, and technical complexities pose hurdles in fully realizing the potential of personalized banking. As a result, many finance institutions are building third-party collaborations to drive early personalization success.
Jim Marous (01:07):
We have Jason Davies, Vice President of Product, Solutions, and Customer Delivery of Flybits on the Banking Transformed Podcast. We explore the opportunities and challenges faced by card issuers and really all retail bankers, as we strive to enhance the card member's journey through personalized engagement.
Jim Marous (01:29):
Digital banking transformation must reimagine the banking experience, placing customers at the center, and delivering convenience, personalization, security, and back-office efficiency that will enrich the customer interactions along the entire customer journey.
Jim Marous (01:45):
So, Jason, welcome to the show. Could you introduce yourself and give our listeners a little quick look at your extensive financial background, but also, describe how Flybits works on behalf of financial institutions in the credit card area and beyond?
Jason Davies (02:01):
Absolutely. So, first of all, Jim, thanks for inviting me on to the podcast, thrilled to be here. I have spent the majority of my career focused on product and process innovation across multiple industries. So, any ranging from consulting to retail to CPG. But my real focus and what's won my heart is focusing really around payments and banking.
Jason Davies (02:25):
And for the last 15 years, I've been working and focusing to help banks achieve their digital transformation strategies. As part of that, I've worked with many of the Canadian banks, I've worked with a lot of banks globally specifically around payment innovation and how do they bring that to their markets and to their cardholders.
Jason Davies (02:47):
Prior to Flybits I worked at Mastercard in a variety of both domestic and global roles. I led digital payments and labs for Mastercard in Canada. And during that role, I launched their tokenization platform, which is the underlying technology of all the digital wallets globally.
Jason Davies (03:05):
And so, very exciting work and that led me into MarTech product development with Mastercard in a global level. And then finally, I continue to work and help banks achieve their digital transformation and personalization objectives now at Flybits.
Jason Davies (03:24):
So, what does Flybits do? Well, we really have been built to help banks mobilize their data as a strategic asset to unleash the power of that data, and deliver personalized, context, relevant experiences, and engagements, ultimately, with the goal of deepening those customer relationships and building a higher level of trust with a bank's customers.
Jason Davies (03:50):
And to do that, we've made it very easy for banks to launch hyper-personalized experiences at scale with minimal data architecture changes, without the need of co-locating data in a data lake. And also, looking at the channel execution, and making channel execution and getting those insights into action in front of your consumers as easy as possible.
Jason Davies (04:18):
So, Flybits has built really a hyper-personalization solution that operates end-to-end, looking at how do I bring data into my system? How do I work with that data? How do I generate insights, action those insights and deliver that into a channel of choice.
Jim Marous (04:36):
It's interesting because we sometimes in the banking business think if we build it, they will come. And number one, that's not always the case. And number two, engagement becomes so important certainly in the card industry as much as any, because if the customer's just using it passively, we're not getting the revenue potential that's there.
Jim Marous (04:56):
We're not understanding the customer, and it's not just about the revenue now - with all the data and technology, analytics capabilities and the need for personalized engagement that the customer wants, it's the engagement level that's really going to drive the loyalty, going to drive other services to be able to revolve around that product.
Jim Marous (05:18):
So, how has the evolution of the technology and data analytics area influenced the demand for precise engagement with the credit card industry? And more importantly, what new opportunities and challenges have emerged as a result?
Jason Davies (05:34):
Yeah, it's an interesting question, Jim, for sure. And I think some of these changing expectations that consumers have from their financial institution are being driven outside of the realm of the financial industry. You know, those outstanding experiences that they receive from their streaming applications: Netflix or Spotify, perhaps now starting to receive much more personalized experiences from ride sharing providers like Uber as well.
Jason Davies (06:08):
These expectations are bleeding over into every interaction that a consumer might have with any brand. And that puts banks squarely in the center of meeting those expectations. And I think technology is starting to get there.
Jason Davies (06:21):
But certainly, to build a trusted relationship with your cardholders, your banking customers, you have to prove to them now that you understand their needs, and you are going to deliver content, offers, products, advice that's relevant to them, that's meaningful to them, and sort of cuts through the noise and gives them a higher value experience for interacting with you and your bank brand.
Jason Davies (06:52):
And that has been very, very challenging over the last few decades to keep up with that. But I think technology is evolving now that it's making it easier to deliver personalization at a more refined level beyond the segment.
Jim Marous (07:12):
You know what, you brought up Uber and just had an experience with them, and it's amazing how much you can do with what I'll call basic information.
Jason Davies (07:20):
Jim Marous (07:20):
I got an Uber, was going to a hotel, they know the destination, they know where I am, I was in Amsterdam at the time. While I'm in the car, I'm getting prompts as to, "Here's some restaurants that you might be interested in around the hotel that you're going to be staying. But in addition, we also can deliver food to your hotel based on what you've bought in the past and what you've eaten in the past," because they know that.
Jim Marous (07:48):
They know where I am, they know what time of the night it is, or day it was. They knew where I was going, where I was, they knew how I was going to pay for things.
Jim Marous (07:58):
And the Uber experience overall, as you said, it became something that it didn't startle me, but the reality is, I expected it. And it's amazing that the financial institutions have so much data they hardly ever use where you are, they hardly ever use what you just bought.
Jim Marous (08:17):
And we just went through, Amazon Prime days and the big sales and all the information that's collected. Can you share some real-life examples of how some financial institutions have really developed some great personalized engagement strategies?
Jason Davies (08:36):
Yeah, absolutely. And some of those examples you provided are great. And I would take that Uber example, Jim and say, "Wouldn't it be great if that actually came from your financial institution because ...
Jim Marous (08:50):
Because they have the same information.
Jason Davies (08:51):
They have the same information, and they're a trusted financial partner to you and their customers in their life. And it would feel very natural as a fit to when you're traveling or you're in that neighborhood to get recommendations from your bank around what might be relevant to you.
Jason Davies (09:11):
Maybe you would enjoy this restaurant based on customers who are like you, who have visited the city and seen that there's nothing really now stopping a bank from getting to that level of personalization and evolving from being your bank, somewhere where you have to have a relationship with just to get your daily life done.
Jason Davies (09:36):
But they can become a much more powerful, trusted partner if they're able to combine that data that they have, make generally valuable insights and deliver value to you when it matters most. And that is a huge shift that I think we're seeing now.
Jason Davies (09:53):
Now, it's not an easy one and banks are all over the place on what they're doing and how they're trying to achieve this vision of personalization. But some of the more advanced ones I've seen - we did some work with a bank in Mexico supporting a recent launch of a co-brand card with a hotelier.
Jason Davies (10:18):
And they're using a combination of data, both spend data, location data to bring that together. So, when you carry that co-brand card and I happen to be in my local city, I'm getting offers, recommendations of experiences to take advantage of the local hotels even though I'm not traveling.
Jason Davies (10:39):
You know, take a spa day use the pool, or visit our restaurants. And these are new types of experiences I think that we haven't seen before and are certainly really powerful for those card holders. Where, I don't have to travel to get the value of this card I'm carrying. I can experience these things in my home city, and it's a great afternoon or a day out. And that's one example of something new that we're starting to see.
Jason Davies (11:09):
And other banks, we're starting to see personalization coming in a much more refined way in terms of what product recommendations they're making.
Jason Davies (11:18):
So, for example, if we can detect somebody who is visiting numerous car dealerships, we can assume that they are now in the cycle of trying to buy a new car. And if anybody's tried to do that recently, we know how complex that can be and how patient you have to be.
Jason Davies (11:38):
But at that point, why wouldn't your bank be along for the ride and to support you in the journey of buying that new car as soon as possible and say, "Hey, are you looking for a new car? Let us help you with your financing needs. We can probably save you more than if you went through the dealership or something like that."
Jason Davies (11:58):
So, those are the starting examples. And I think both of those highlight that the movement now is away from just doing segment-based personalization where you look like this person, so you should get that offer.
Jason Davies (12:13):
No, what I'm talking about here is detecting context in real time, matching that with an offer, an experience, content that makes sense for that person at that moment in time, and delivering it to them when they need it or when it might be the most receptive.
Jason Davies (12:29):
And that's the full sale change that I think we're starting to see from technology in the industry in regards to personalization.
Jim Marous (12:38):
Well, my team knows, I've used the example quite a bit when I bought my most recent car and gave all these prompts. I was doing as everybody does, some visit to dealers, doing some test drives. Well, that gets put on your credit bureau as a hit, and you can use the credit bureau information to get that.
Jim Marous (12:55):
I never got anything from my financial institutions, but I got all kinds of offers and prompts from dealerships and from manufacturers. You brought up the issue of the hotelier. What's interesting is credit cards, the first thing you do when you go out of town, you're going to use a card, debit card or credit.
Jason Davies (13:13):
Jim Marous (13:13):
It's just invariable, people are not using cash most of the time on their first purchase. It's not going to be within 20 minutes of upon landing someplace. And that's assuming they didn't use the card to buy the flight over in the first place, which would've been even better.
Jim Marous (13:28):
But let's say they did it; as soon as I land, yes, I mentioned the thing about Uber, but you'll no longer be using Uber. My finance institution knows it, they can offer me similar situations.
Jim Marous (13:38):
Or another example is, let's say when I'm going into a town with open banking and APIs and all this, let's say they take Airbnb experiences, which provides you all kinds of personalized experience in wherever you are in the country or in the world.
Jim Marous (13:53):
And my financial institution links me up with those and says, "While you're in this city, you may want to do this, these are really unique experiences." These tools are all there because financial institutions can use location, they can use what you purchased in the past.
Jason Davies (14:10):
Jim Marous (14:11):
But they're so timid. So, in that sense, the personalization of the engagement relies so heavily on data. How do banks navigate the balance between leveraging customer's data to enhance the experience, and making sure the customer realizes that they're also taking some good thoughts into data privacy and security?
Jason Davies (14:33):
Yeah, it's a great question and I think something that is being discussed more and more at banks and within the Fintech community as well as it should. But for me, striking that balance, Jim, between, how much data do we collect versus how much value can we deliver back to the consumer? And you have to have a very good balance in that equation. In fact, it has to favor the consumer.
Jason Davies (15:03):
And the way that I look at it, and the way my team and all of Flybits looks at it, is really from a privacy by design principle, where we start everything from a view of how do we secure this data but make it usable and make it powerful to deliver more value to the consumer. And I think you have to look at it in terms of how do I balance this?
Jason Davies (15:30):
And it starts with the use case. What is the use case going to deliver to this card holder or this banking customer? And what is the data attributes that I have to use to be able to execute that use case? And then you can do a look at, does the use case and the value the card holder is going to receive, validate the use of those attributes.
Jason Davies (15:54):
Does that work out? Does it advantage? And if it does, then I think it comes back down to privacy by design and what people have talked about.
Jason Davies (16:04):
But it's critical as any bank moves into deepening their capabilities and personalization, they also become much more transparent with their card holders and all of their customers about what data are they collecting? How are they going to use that and what can those cardholders expect to get back or their customers from the use of that data?
Jason Davies (16:30):
And if everyone is clear, and then it delivers increased value to your customers, these things start to disappear because there is a fair trade of, I give you my data, you treat it securely and responsibly, and in return for that, I'm getting better offers, I'm getting better product recommendations, you're removing friction from me, completing these financial tasks.
Jason Davies (16:56):
And at the end of the day, like that's what you look for in any relationship. There's value exchange, everyone's better off for being in this relationship. And keeping that mindset, I think is at the core of this question. Like what data, when, from who, what are we going to do with it? And being transparent with your cardholders and customers, this is what we're going to do with it and this is what you're going to get.
Jim Marous (17:24):
That's so key because again, you mentioned value transfer. I keep on going back to the example of Amazon - why do we pay $130 a year for something that if you weren't a prime customer nine tenths of that, you're going to get anyway. It's because you trust them and you really like the experience, you're going to pay for the value transfer you get.
Jim Marous (17:44):
And again, if you're just collecting data for the sake of collecting data, whenever anything goes wrong, you're not going to get any leeway, you're not going to get any flexibility out of that. On the other hand, with Uber, it's going to take a lot for me to change providers of shared transit or shared communication or transportation.
Jason Davies (18:06):
Jim, are you ever going to ride in a taxicab again?
Jim Marous (18:09):
Not if I can help it, and the problem is the few times I've had to ride in a taxi, I end up leaving the taxi without paying, going, "Oh, crap, I remember I have to pay for this." But worse than that, the deeper the relationship gets, the more likely it is you're going to give them flexibility.
Jim Marous (18:27):
But more likely you're going to say, I'm going to let you get less concerned about you knowing too much about me, because you've done something with it.
Jim Marous (18:36):
I always use the example of Disney, where you go on to the Magic Kingdom and they have the wristbands with the personalization. And for a while there, they'd use those personalization wristbands to build communication with the kids.
Jim Marous (18:54):
So, a speaking character would come up to the kid, use the kid's name, and all of a sudden, the player would go, "What just happened? This is not good. Why do they know the name?" And then all of a sudden, they see the kids react and they go ... Oh, I love this, I love the personalization, those are the dynamics.
Jim Marous (19:12):
And it's, again, if you get the value in return, Disney's a great example again, because they know as a family where you're going to probably go first, what you're going to want to do, how you're going to want to save time. They know everything about you based on just the construction of your family. So, this all takes a lot of intelligence beyond just data.
Jim Marous (19:27):
What role does artificial intelligence and machine learning play in enabling this highly effective personalized engagement? I'm going to keep on going to the word engagement because it's more than just personalization, experiences. How does Flybits use these technologies to deliver more tailored solutions?
Jason Davies (19:53):
Again, it's a great question, Jim, and I think, it's certainly a hot topic of conversation right now. Like what is the application of AI and ML not only in this industry, but everywhere else, and will the horrible predictions that AI will take over come true or will it just be an assistance and a tool?
Jason Davies (20:16):
But I think in terms of the way AI is going to happen, you're going to see it play an increasingly important role in a couple of areas, particularly in the data analytics and the generation of new insights. There's just so much more data now to comb through, and frankly, the machine is just better at that, and uncovering these valuable insights.
Jason Davies (20:42):
The second area I think is going to be related to content customization. So, once you know you are personalized as somebody who might be targeted or eligible for some sort of experience, the way the content is delivered to you might also be customized. Imagery might be customized to look a little more like you and what you're experiencing in your lifestyle, the tone of the copy might be slightly different.
Jason Davies (21:11):
And then, I think the final area which is going to be huge, is in process optimization within marketing within financial institutions. I think, Jim, you have a history in marketing and you knew the frustration of - you've identified a market opportunity, you know it's there.
Jason Davies (21:32):
You can calculate what you think the revenue opportunity might be, and then you start going down to build your campaign to capture that opportunity and the processes get your way. And by the time you've got it out in the market, it's six months later and everyone's moved on.
Jim Marous (21:46):
If you're lucky, exactly.
Jason Davies (21:47):
If you're lucky. And I think the speed at which the world is changing, just in notes that you're going to need more agility in your marketing processes powered by AI. Just look in the recent history of how many things have changed and had a material impact on consumers’ needs.
Jason Davies (22:07):
We had the pandemic, we've got instability in Europe, we've got massive weather events happening almost daily, and you can't react to those six months from now. So, I think it's having and utilizing artificial intelligence, and leveraging these technologies to be able to react and deliver meaningful experiences and recommendation content to customers when they need it most and about that. And AI is at the central of that.
Jason Davies (22:37):
So, how we're starting this journey for us, at Flybits is, we're actually solving a very old problem for marketers where it's reach versus impact in their campaigns or their experiences. And we have built a product that we call Smart Targeting that actually allows marketers to model out those exchanges. So, if I want to see a 20% engagement rate, which is something, we typically achieve when using Flybits with an audience you can start to model.
Jason Davies (23:09):
Well, if I wanted 20% engagement, I should reach out to these 10,000 people. But if I'm willing to take a 15% engagement rate, I could reach out to 100,000 people and broaden the scope and manage my promotional budgets more effectively.
Jason Davies (23:25):
So, that's what we're using machine learning for to help make those recommendations to marketers today about how to optimize their reach versus engagement calculations in their promotional experiences that they put onto Flybits.
Jason Davies (23:39):
How we do that? We do it by using like campaigns previously and their performance, and then the machine can make optimization recommendations to the marketer. But the interesting thing is, it actually shows and lists the attributes that were changed that have the largest impact on the reach versus engagement.
Jason Davies (24:00):
And it's an interesting experiment because all good marketers, we all have hunches and we have hypothesis about who we should target and how. This is a very powerful tool to remove perhaps some of those biases and show actually it's not location, or maybe it's not age, it's how much that they actually have on a monthly basis in their savings account that drives the most engagement.
Jason Davies (24:26):
So, it's a way to monitor, uncover these insights, and then reapply those to become much more effective in personalizing and communicating with your cardholders or customers.
Jim Marous (24:39):
What's interesting is, as I mentioned before we got on air, your company was one of my first guests ever. I think you might have been the fifth podcast of people that we reached out and said, we'd like to interview you, as opposed to some interviews we did prior to actually going live with a podcast where we did it at the Financial Brand Forum.
Jim Marous (24:59):
One of the reasons why I wanted to do the interview was you are not just a data company, you are not just a marketing company, but you were a specialized firm that brought these two together.
Jim Marous (25:12):
So, you came to the marketplace, you have a broad experience with financial institutions, so you can always track me versus others like me, as well as me against myself. You come to speed to market very quickly with ideas.
Jim Marous (25:30):
You take the data and insights that are out there, and you know the marketing side. So, it's not just doing analytics and saying, "Okay, you got to go to the final mile." You help the organizations you partner with, with that final mile.
Jim Marous (25:44):
On the people that listen to the podcast, there is nobody, I can already know the numbers - there is nobody that is sitting there without the primary problem they're having right now, not enough time.
Jim Marous (25:55):
To find a partner that can actually take the ball and run it down the field, my ongoing analogy with this; and do it in a way that looks at the way to market the consumer to do what you need to accomplish in the most compact and ROIs driven way. But with the sensibility that says, at the end of the day, the customer's got to be treated right.
Jim Marous (26:21):
They've got to have the trust in the organization, you have to bring the trust to the financial institution. When we're talking about trust, it's now more critical than ever. We've had a lot of disruption in the financial service industry as of late. And so, people are have their ear out to say, "Can I trust my financial institution?"
Jim Marous (26:39):
And since it's so important, it is my belief, and I'd like to know your perspective on this, that if I do really well with customized engagement, the consumer trusts me more because you are showing an empathy to what my life's like.
Jim Marous (26:57):
So, you talk about personalization across the life cycle, the more you show that you know me, understand me, and are going to reward me, the more trust I'm going to have in you. Because I'm going to say, "You know what, you're looking out for me," how do you accomplish this at Flybits?
Jason Davies (27:14):
Yeah, it's a very, very difficult task to accomplish as a bank. And we took a look at Flybits and said, "Well, what are the limiting factors to stopping a bank from actually achieving this?" Because from the outside in, it looks like they have everything that they would need to be to deliver these great experiences, these great personalized experiences.
Jason Davies (27:39):
But I think what a bank deals with is a matter of legacy and technology. And ultimately, they have to design a system and have operations that look at how do we secure everything for our customers as well.
Jason Davies (27:59):
And that's what they should be doing, and that's table stakes. And that's why I think particularly, here in Canada, there's still a lot of trust in banks that they will secure my data, they will secure my money, and they will always be a stable institution that I can trust on financial matters.
Jason Davies (28:18):
What Flybits has done is to look at each piece of the personalization puzzle and solve for that for a bank. So, the first thing, and we've talked a lot about this so far, Jim, but the most important one is data. What data do I bring to these personalized experiences?
Jason Davies (28:38):
And unfortunately, for a bank, as they've grown up often they've created these data silos that are very rich in data, but they can't talk to one another. And there's nothing that's going to give a bank CTO sleepless nights when somebody says, "You know, I think we really need to create a data lake to put all of these things together." And I'm sure there's some of your listeners who are leading back in their chair now going, "Oh, not the data lake." But we've solved for that.
Jason Davies (29:09):
And the way that we do that is we're able to reach into these individual data repositories, and pull out the necessary attributes without requiring the bank to change any of their data architecture, any of their data schema. We're able to move that data to our platform with minimal intervention on that.
Jason Davies (29:33):
The second puzzle is, well, now that the data's there, is it usable? Can I use it? Can I create a segment out of it? Can I get an insight out of it? And that's where our design platform comes in, which we call Experience Studio. So, that raw data is then transformed and made usable to a marketer.
Jason Davies (29:55):
So, instead of having to go to your data analytics team and say, "Can you create an audience for me?" And they come back three months later, and you say, "Well, that's almost the audience I wanted, can you do a few more things," is six months later.
Jason Davies (30:08):
What we allow for, is that marketer through no code interfaces, drag and drop menus to start selecting and combining data attributes to create segments, so they can create segments on the fly. An example is, I want to target all of my gold card holders who have points, balances above 10,000 points who haven't redeemed in the last six months and have traveled in the last year.
Jason Davies (30:37):
I just created that segment, we can do that if the data is available on the platform. You can do that as fast as I can talk. Then you can in that same experience design platform, start to delve into building an engagement rule or a context role. When should I serve this content to this segment that I've defined?
Jason Davies (31:02):
And there you could use historical attributes like spend data, but you can also combine it with real-time data attributes such as location, battery level from your device your most recent transaction in the last minute can all be used as contextual signals to denote, Jim is in a context where he needs to receive this information.
Jason Davies (31:26):
And then the final piece is being able to design content, match that content to the context, and deliver it in a timely manner in the channel. And we do that through a set of SDKs that we call concierge that allows a bank to implement this personalized dynamic feed of content into whatever channel they choose.
Jason Davies (31:45):
And it's always there, it's always refreshed, and it starts to become a way for their customers to have a reason to come back and interact with the brand. They get offers, they get recommendations, they get informational updates. All of this goes to building and it's a very flexible platform, and it's built for experimentation in campaigns.
Jason Davies (32:08):
So, having these three capabilities in one platform really solves all of these sort of data silo needs and dependencies on other capabilities like analytics.
Jason Davies (32:19):
It combines it all into an end-to-end platform that allows you to bring data in, expose that data in a usable format for your marketing or your channels teams, create content or import content, put all of that together into an experience, turn it on, and then that experience is there and it's listening for those right contextual signals.
Jason Davies (32:39):
And as soon as you need it, it's delivered onto your or into your channel. That is a powerful, scalable personalization platform, and that's what we've built.
Jim Marous (32:52):
And what's interesting is, let's say I'm a company, a finance institution that says, one of the big drawbacks when a finance institution wants to do something like this, they go, "But I got away from my data to be okay, my data is all over the place. It's not this, not that."
Jim Marous (33:08):
The reality is that's what you do for them. You don't change their platform, but you can take the data in whatever format they want, they have, and even, I'm going to say as dirty as it can be, and the reality is you help clean that up.
Jim Marous (33:23):
But the reality is then you can take it to market. You can do this very efficiently and very quickly because you're putting into a system that's already been tested. In addition, I say, "Geez, you know what, I don't have any budget right now, I can only do a small program."
Jim Marous (33:39):
From my understanding what you just said, you can customize the scale of whatever I want to do based on my needs, but also based on your experiences with other financial institutions. So, if I say, "I have a very dormant portfolio right now, how do I make it better?"
Jim Marous (33:56):
You have the experience to say, "Here's the data I need, here's how I'm going to use it, here's what I'm going to put out." And the biggest part of this from, again, my understanding of what you said, is you can then get them the final mile, you can tell them how to do it and make it be actionable.
Jason Davies (34:13):
Jim Marous (34:14):
This is so important in today's marketplace, because people are saying, "How can I get a quick ROI to get a used case to then build a bigger relationship over time?"
Jason Davies (34:23):
No, absolutely, Jim.
Jim Marous (34:25):
From that conversation, if I'm a smaller organization, can you help me or do you only work with big firms?
Jason Davies (34:32):
No, I think Flybits is a perfect fit for those regional players, the credit unions who are looking to compete in this space. And it makes so much sense that these smaller regional banks or credit union would be masterful in this because their whole brand has grown up around being a more personable source of interaction, being more of an advisor, a trusted partner in your financial life.
Jason Davies (35:05):
I remember my father banked at a credit union and walking into the branch and the tellers not only knew him by first name, they knew me and my sister by our first names as well. And it's that kind of knowledge which was really impressive, and you just don't get that at big banks.
Jason Davies (35:27):
And times have changed, but I think Flybits can help bring back that level of personalization to a credit union without having them invest the millions of dollars to re-architect their data system, have to bring in new partners. All of that complexity, I think has been what's made up the roadblocks of allowing these smaller institutions to embark on this personalized hyper-personalization journey.
Jason Davies (35:54):
And as you said, Flybits, we're looking at focusing on solving that for them, where they can take this platform that we've built this end-to-end, sort of data and design platform, and then channel capability as well, and very quickly build a very impressive personalization program for their customers, for their card holders, whatever it might be.
Jason Davies (36:21):
I mean, looking at what it takes, we can complete an integration to a bank in as little as three months more likely, that's four to six.
Jim Marous (36:32):
Jason Davies (36:33):
And it's not disrupting as I said, their data environments. It's really down to us working with them to understand what data they have, bring that in, working with them to understand what is the personalization strategy and experiences they wanted to deploy, and teaching them and helping them to design, deploy, and optimize those on the platform, and they're ready.
Jason Davies (36:57):
And they can have a capability that would rival any personalization program that's been built by the major global banks. You know, whether that's Citi or BofA or whoever it is, they're now in that game.
Jim Marous (37:13):
Well, it's important too, because one thing I remember from two and a half, three years back right now, is that you don't sell a product that's, "Here's what I have, you either buy it or don't buy it." You're customizing it in each single case based on what the financial institution's needs are, which is very important today.
Jim Marous (37:36):
Because if I have to buy something big and I'm either in or out, most of the time I'm going to be out. I don't have the budget, I don't have the time, I know I'm going to get in the way. In building these customized solutions that are scalable and very quick, you mentioned about the time involved.
Jim Marous (37:53):
When you work with financial institutions and the financial institutions all gamble, they go, "Let's go, let's do it. I have this problem, you know what it is." What gets in the way of being able to implement it the way both the financial institution and Flybits envisions it? What is the most likely scenario that creates challenges?
Jason Davies (38:17):
It comes down to I think a few things. One, that often the banks have not set a formalized goal or strategy for personalization. I think in some cases it's-
Jim Marous (38:32):
They want personalization, that's what they said.
Jason Davies (38:33):
That's what they want, to do what?
Jim Marous (38:37):
That's the problem I'm trying to solve, yeah.
Jason Davies (38:38):
Personalization to do what? And I think sometimes that takes a while for us to sort of work through with them and come to those initial starting points. And we've realized this and one of the solves that we did, we've created specialized experience modules that a bank can take as a starting point, and they just customized them.
Jason Davies (39:02):
Our first one, we have built it for the cards industry, and it is a fully personalized lifecycle management capability. So, taking a card holder from acquisition, all the way through to retention, we have built templated personalized experiences. So, we can go in and we can say, "If you want to improve your overall card holder lifecycle with personalization, here's how you would do it to start, here's the data sets that we will require."
Jason Davies (39:34):
"Attributes, we'll figure out with you how to get those, we know you have them. If you don't have them, we can show you ways to get them from your network partner or your processing partner. Here's the things that your marketing department should be considering, and here's the light lift that your channels team will have to do in mobile development to get this into the channel or your web channel."
Jason Davies (39:54):
This has been a wholesale departure because now when we show up and we say, "Yes, absolutely Flybits, we need a personalization capability and we need to launch it now, we're behind." "Who are you behind? I don't know, but we're behind."
Jim Marous (40:10):
I know I'm not doing well.
Jason Davies (40:11):
Yeah, "I feel uncomfortable I'm behind here, let's catch up." But it provides them a focal point where you can say, "Let's start with cards, let's improve that card life cycle, let's prove the value of personalization to you, and then we can start thinking about this platform," it's not just about cards.
Jason Davies (40:32):
We can now say, let's put it over into your retail banking operations for loan origination, let's look at wealth management. That's how really the power of the platform is that we come in, we have a recommended and structured approach to get them started to make it easy for them. And then they grow with the platform, and we continue to work with them to say that these experiences we're forming really well, how about recommending a few others?
Jason Davies (41:03):
And I think it's been that focus that's really helped us now. I think everyone, they're eager for personalization. The trouble is, where do I start? And I think by giving them a starting point, it's just the recipe for success.
Jim Marous (41:19):
Well, and it's funny because you're not unusual in the field, in the solution provider area that the solution you've customized, but in a compartmentalized way, is obviously one that you know is going to generate a great deal of success, it's going to generate revenue. You're not going to pick the hard to implement personalization plans as your package.
Jim Marous (41:41):
So, if an organization wants to say, "I need to show the power of personalization," and you've got it already ready, and in fact you've implemented multiple financial institutions, in one way or another to the point where you're going to be able to tell X, Y, Z company: "By the way, you are not implementing at the level that we've seen in the past. Oh, and by the way, we found out why," maybe it was a piece of data they weren't able to share.
Jim Marous (42:05):
Maybe it's external data that you've enhanced in the other cases, and they didn't buy into that concept. But overall, your potential for success is so high because you wouldn't have customized this otherwise. It makes it so the ... In fact, it's a win-win-win, but it's a consumer win.
Jim Marous (42:25):
They're getting communication, they're getting engagement tools. They're getting the attention that we often forget once we've opened an account. You know, that dead silence, once you've opened the account, you go, "Geez, I kind of thought they want to talk to me a little bit more than this."
Jim Marous (42:44):
And the longer you take from the time of opening a relationship to the time of using the relationship, it becomes less likely that you're going to become the primary relationship.
Jason Davies (42:56):
Oh, absolutely. You're touching on some important points that we want to solve with our cards module. Where we look at that life cycle, when you say you're absolutely right, Jim, that one of the key measures should be time to activation.
Jason Davies (43:10):
Now, that's changing, as some banks are delivering digital cards into wallets right away, and the plastic arrives 10 days later. But regardless of that, there's still that struggle, where once you get that card that seemed like a good idea at the time, and now, it's in your wallet a couple of weeks later, you're not using it, that's starting to-
Jim Marous (43:34):
It's out of your wallet.
Jason Davies (43:35):
Yeah, it's starting to generate a loss for that bank that's issued that card for you. So, being able to engage early putting them on a structured early month on books program to build a healthy spending profile to ensure that that card goes into the wallet, that's the bank's goal there.
Jason Davies (43:54):
But at the same time, you can do it by also reminding the card holder constantly of the value of that card. Why did they want that card in the first place? And if you want to maximize the value of that card, here's how you do it. And start giving them that healthy structured spending profile that you're looking for as the product owner at the bank.
Jason Davies (44:15):
Then you're right. I think then ongoing, because the Flybits platform is always listening for those contextual signals that are relevant, to your point, like I worked in the industry, I designed card value props for several banks, I designed one personally myself for an airline co-brand.
Jason Davies (44:41):
And a year after, do you think I could remember if there was collision damage waiver insurance when I walked up to a car rental counter in an airport? No, I had to look it up. And being reminded of that as I walked up to the counter on my device saying, "Hey Jason, don't forget you've got collision damage waiver insurance, you don't have to buy … it's like, "Oh my goodness, you're right, thank you bank for saving me a couple of dollars and allowing me to benefit from having this card." And there's myriad examples of that, like warranty extender coverage.
Jason Davies (45:17):
You buy a TV, but you put it on that card, and you double the ... these are all elements of value that have to be communicated on a relevant basis before you even get to the points.
Jim Marous (45:29):
American Express does this very well where they keep on reminding you, they remind me every month that, "Oh, by the way, remember you get $15 off on Uber the first time using it in a month," these type of elements. But what that does, it makes it so you go, "Oh, I got to use that card instead."
Jason Davies (45:43):
Jim Marous (45:44):
It's that little decision point, and the beauty of the digital world right now that all this data's floating around, we've got to just focus in and the fact that Flybits has built a very specific solution around the card life cycle, it's interesting because there's so much there.
Jason Davies (46:01):
Jim Marous (46:02):
And if I'm a marketer of a financial institution, that engagement, that that experience will educate me into thinking about how I can do this in other areas of the financial institution. But there's so much to uncover there and it's such a profitability enhancer as you go ahead.
Jim Marous (46:19):
So, Jason, we're coming to the end of our podcast here, but as you look ahead, what trends do you anticipate in the realm of personalized engagement for the card members lifecycle? How is Flybits preparing to stand at the forefront of all that's going on?
Jason Davies (46:37):
Yeah, the lifecycle marketing and designing experiences to meet that, that's stage one, and it's only going to continue to advance from there, Jim. And I think the technology that Flybits is putting into market starts to open up a whole new level of marketing.
Jason Davies (46:56):
And you have to start to look at it where Flybits creates the opportunity for a marketer to engage in what I would term non-linear consumer journeys. A journey today is designed on a whiteboard and it says, "Okay, now Jason's going to do this, and then he's going to do that, and then we want him to take the next action."
Jason Davies (47:18):
Where in reality, people drop into a journey. Maybe it's stage three and they've missed staged one, and the journey gets irrelevant. What Flybits does, and I think this is going to be the future of where you're going is, it allows for these non-linear journeys.
Jason Davies (47:35):
So, you design the experiences and the touchpoints at each point. But because I have the ability now with Flybits to listen for contextual signals, I know where to put this person into that journey at any point in time. And because it's so flexible, I can move them back and forth through the journey presenting them content. And that I think becomes a much more valuable and realistic scenario to communicate with these cardholders.
Jason Davies (48:04):
Where who knows, like based on age, maybe I'm constantly bombarded with retirement planning and messaging. And although, you probably should, maybe I'm not as focused on that as I should be. Meanwhile, like this highly responsible 21-year-old who's just graduating from university has already started saving for their retirement, but they're getting none of that messaging just based on the segment they're in.
Jason Davies (48:35):
You have to deliver the content and the engagement based on the context of the user, and that's what we're focusing on. I think that is going to be the wholesale change where we're seeing this mapping and targeting on the segment level is just not going to be enough to move the needle.
Jason Davies (48:54):
You have to now be able to go down levels to get to hyper-personalization with ultimately, the goal, of being one-to-one, always listening, and always ready to insert this consumer into the right journey at the right moment in time.
Jason Davies (49:10):
So, that is going to be a huge change, I think, and technology is moving there, and it's going to be a big change for a lot of classic marketers, who are, I create a calendar at the end of the year, and the customer gets back to school stuff at this time of year, and they get retirement savings at this time of year, and they get to travel here — moving to a always on calendar where people might be all over the place at any point in time. But that's a much more interesting space.
Jim Marous (49:38):
Yeah, we're already seeing that. It is going to be interesting because ChatGPT, as you look at the potential there, that the creation of content based on individual situations. We're all right now at a stage of saying, data here, responds here. Eventually, we’ll reach to the point of saying, "I want to ask certain customers questions that will build things even more prompted."
Jim Marous (50:04):
So, "Hey Jim, you're this old, how is your life different today than it was five years ago? Or you seem to have a lot of these transactions, it feels like you're still in the cash states of life, as opposed to the setting money aside or whatever it may be," those things you don't know. And I use the example of when the governments were providing COVID relief in the form of cheques.
Jim Marous (50:29):
We could not identify the difference between the consumer that was taking a waiver on their mortgage payment because they couldn't eat, versus those that said they want to use the money from putting it away in savings because they didn't have a savings account.
Jim Marous (50:41):
Those are very big differences, but not always driven by data. Sometimes they have to ask questions. We're going to get better at asking the questions, and the delivering of content beyond, "Oh, buy this, the next sale."
Jim Marous (50:53):
So, Jason, it was so great to have you on the show. We have to do this again because as much as we covered, there's probably even more that we need to cover.
Jason Davies (51:03):
Definitely, Jim. I mean, I think we're doing work right now in that generative AI space that you'll find fascinating. And we're taking a different approach where we're applying generative AI to the market, helping the marketer design better campaigns.
Jim Marous (51:22):
And I think that's what I like the most about finances, is you became a marketer's partner as opposed to a data shop, or as opposed to selling a solution that's a package solution. And yes, you have a packaged solution, but it's more of a very composable solution that's very manageable as opposed to saying, "Here's what we sell, thank you very much. This is what you got to buy."
Jim Marous (51:45):
Again, appreciate it so much Jason, we are going to get together again and great to talk to you.
Jason Davies (51:51):
Great talking to you, Jim, appreciate the time. Look forward to joining you again sometime soon.
Jim Marous (51:56):
Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed, the winner of three international awards for podcast excellence. We really appreciate the support we've received in making this endeavor a success. If you enjoy what we're doing, please take some time to show some love in the form of a review.
Jim Marous (52:11):
Finally, be sure to catch my recent articles on The Financial Brand, and the research we're doing for the Digital Banking Report.
Jim Marous (52:19):
This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to our senior producer, Leah Haslage, audio engineer Chris Fafalios, and video producer, Will Pritts. I'm your host Jim Marous.
Jim Marous (52:30):
Remember, personalization is not a one-time goal, the customer expects you to know them, understand them, and reward them across their entire customer journey.