Payments Leader

Where Data Meets Life: Driving Growth Through Contextual Personalization by Ernie Buday

September 19, 2018

Ernie Buday, FIS | Vice President, Product Strategy

Consumers’ growing demands for immediate, predictive and personalized experiences are fueling a data arms race as businesses seek an edge to win. I wrote previously about the need for payment service providers to embrace this new normal of Instant, Intelligent and Secure payments. At the heart of this is Data.

The data and insight you have into the lives of your customers is very much your “secret sauce”. It is how you determine how best to serve them, how to ensure you are making the right product offers at the right time.

Banking on Analytics

Customers expect their financial institutions to deliver the same immediate and personalized experience they receive when they use their mobile device to make a reservation, locate a ride-sharing service, or buy online.

As financial disruptors continue to enter the payments space and increase customer expectations for relevant solutions, a financial service provider’s ability to harness data and use it to form actionable insights about a customer’s spending habits, channel and payment preferences, future needs and aspirations is critical to retaining customers and attracting new segments.

FIS Group Executive Gautam Vyas summarizes this effectively, saying, “Data will either enable your growth trajectory or put you out of the market.”

Finding Meaning in My Data

Financial institutions are privy to a wide breadth of data from both internal and third-party sources that other industries envy – but quantity isn’t beneficial without a strategy for how to harness data, and interpret it into meaningful and actionable information.

In the 2017 FIS Readiness Report, nearly 40% of respondents agreed there is substantial room for improvement when it comes to unifying data sources across their organizations, combining internal and external data to better inform decision-making, and using advanced analytics and AI for predictive identification and risk opportunities. In a separate study, nearly 60% of bank executives said data analytics are very important, but just 17% felt well-prepared to manage data.

By drawing on the vast data stores you have, you can educate your customers on how they spend, when they should save or how to adjust their financial plan when their life changes – such as marriage, birth of a child, or retirement.

Data-Powered Engagement

AI has transformative potential in financial services as it relates to both better business practices for providers and creating more personalized experiences for consumer and commercial customers. In fact, almost 80 percent of bank executives recently surveyed think AI has the potential to ‘revolutionize’ customer engagement. More than 40% of net new investments by US enterprises in 2020 is projected to be in prescriptive and predictive analytics. And it’s forecasted that $31.3B will be spent globally on cognitive systems by 2019.

The FIS MyBanker skill via Alexa uses friendly, conversational language to help users navigate through different aspects of their banking journeys, from buying a home, applying for a credit card or dealing with card fraud. The FIS skill leverages the power of the cloud to provide these personal banking services and to support multiple platforms, locations and situations. Fifty percent of consumers prefer a chatbot instead of calling support because it saves them time.

Bank of America’s new virtual assistant Erica is a chatbot leveraging predictive analytics and cognitive messaging to provide financial guidance to over 45 million customers…and growing.

An Audience of One

Bridging technology and data equips financial service providers to deliver curated experiences for their customers. By combining customer data with external information sources financial institutions can deliver truly personalized experiences, recommendations and offers at the right time and place.

Among the more prominent uses for real-time data ingestion and advanced analytics is around real-time award redemption. Customers not only want simplicity in earning rewards, they want simple ways to redeem these rewards. Nearly 70% of consumers want to redeem as they pay at the POS.

If you’re looking for a way to deliver better customer experiences and build a differentiating position in the market using your data, let’s talk.


Ernie Buday

FIS | Vice President, Product Strategy

Ernie drives growth initiatives that accelerate adoption and revenue for the FIS’ Emerging Commerce solutions, including Loyalty and Prepaid. With over 20 years of financial technology experience, Ernie joins FIS from Worldpay in Atlanta where he led brand and product marketing for their US business. Focused on optimizing their digital strategy, he launched the company’s new omni-channel payments product and new merchant onboarding experience.