People’s United Deploys Technology to Predict Customer Financial Needs

People’s United Financial in Bridgeport, Connecticut, identified personalization in 2020 as a key way to deepen relationships with its customers.

“We wanted to live this digital experience like a branch, showing our customers that we know them and that we care about them like a banker would in a branch,” said James Roy, senior vice president of digital marketing at People’s, assets of $ 64.2 billion, which is sold to M&T Bank in an all-equity transaction expected to close by the end of the year.

Personalization in banking, which management and technology consultancy Capco describes as “providing the client with real-time access to preferred products, services and capabilities based on evolving goals and evolving business requirements. priorities ”in a recent report, can strengthen customer loyalty and differentiate the brand. In the Capco report, 72% of respondents find personalization “very important” to them, compared to 20% who are neutral about the idea and 8% who find it unimportant.

At the same time, many financial institutions have struggled to compile and leverage their customer data stocks. Unlike the big banks, regional banks have only relatively recently stepped up their personalization experiences.

People’s United turned to Virtusa Corp., a digital business strategy firm in Southborough, Massachusetts, that they had worked with for years, most recently with the rollout of People’s new Adobe-based website, to improve its personalization efforts. Over the course of 23 weeks, Virtusa conceptualized and packaged a personalization engine called vEngage using Adobe Experience Manager to manage digital content and the Customer Decision Hub of software company Pega to predict customer needs.

People’s, which is the first bank to deploy vEngage, launched the tool in March. vEngage uses Adobe Experience Manager to design and generate web and email content. It also leverages Pega’s Customer Decision Hub, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze customer data points routed through People’s data warehouse, including demographics, buying habits, digital behavior. and responses, to recommend next steps to customers. For example, someone with a lot of money on checks may be better off with a savings account or a money market deposit account. By overlaying additional demographics and details about how much money the customer has, the engine can recommend them as a good candidate for a legacy account.

“Although you haven’t spoken to anyone, the experience is like you’ve requested a very specific offer,” said Sanjay Deshpande, manager of banking and financial services, Americas, at Virtusa.

For People’s, the goal is less to increase business than to demonstrate value to current customers, by posting relevant and timely reminders or recommendations on a customer’s home page or inbox.

“We’re not only creating this ‘wow’ factor that, oh, they get me, but they watch over me,” Roy said.

The first use cases are to encourage customers to activate and use People’s digital offerings. If vEngage detects that a customer is frequently visiting the branch to deposit checks, it will offer that person to explore mobile deposit, perhaps through a post on the homepage or an email outlining the benefits of the mobile deposit. mobile deposit. Or a customer who recently signed up for online banking may see messages about the benefits of mobile banking.

These types of interactions will initially take place on the website and via email, the channels that Roy believes will have the most positive impact on customers. Ultimately, he hopes to expand the same interactions between branches, call center, mobile banking and more.

People’s has served over 4 million personalized interactions to date. While artificial intelligence is still maturing, Roy said the results are promising so far, as People’s clients are receptive to receiving and acting on relevant offers and advice.

Kevin Miologos, Managing Director at Capco, says the vEngage approach is more comprehensive than he has seen to date. He sees the product as a fundamental technical library that provides capabilities that can be applied to different channels and functions of the bank.

“Usually the technologies that enable decision making and personalization with AI are application specific, such as for a contact center,” he said.

He noted that regional and super-regional banks have invested more in personalization over the past 12-18 months.

“To see Adobe applied this way in the small regional space is a big deal,” he said. “Usually these banks buy something out of the box that is rigid or doesn’t have a lot of customization capability. “

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