Both local and global banks started to use new technologies in their business processes very quickly, so we see that they constantly offer more innovative products and services to their customers (users). Especially in recent years, this trend has accelerated with the rapid entry of many new players from big technology companies to Fintechs.
An example of this is the fact that banks started to prioritize providing value-added services that facilitate the lives of customers besides traditional banking services by using both technology and the data processing. Current technology allows the data to be analyzed very quickly to be used in different areas, thus providing personalized services to customers. In addition, with the ease of access to these technologies, even new comers became important competitors against the banks. This competitive environment forces banks who want to strengthen their interactions with their customers to focus on products and services that will differentiate them. Of course, this paves the way for customers to access more innovative services more easily. We can say that focusing on customer expectations more while developing products and services in the banks has made such services widespread for he customers. Now, it is not enough to provide access to basic banking operations, customers wait for the support from their banks to achieve their financial goals.
Banks have a large customer base, thus a large database. With the increase in the use of innovative technologies, it has become possible to make sense of this data much stronger than before and thus provide more personalized products and services to customers. One of these products and services is to provide insights that will enable customers to manage their finances more easily. For this, it is critical to be able to instantly analyze the financial data of customers, whose number can reach millions, and to generate insight proactively. Some of the services that banks aim to offer to their customers with this service can be listed as follows:
• Guiding on income and expenses
• Providing information, warnings and predictions about possible future cash flow by analyzing historical data
• Making suggestions on savings
• Supporting financial decision-making processes
Of course, we should not forget that this issue should not only be seen as an "advanced technology" application, but also should be presented with a very good and understandable customer experience. We can show this service as an important part of the value proposition of many global banks and new generation banking applications.
Our Project Process
As Akbank, the expectations of our customers are the top priority for us. For this purpose, we work on solutions that will meet the increasing expectations of our customers regarding “personalized” experiences and content, and even go beyond these expectations to make their lives easier. We implemented one of these solutions, Smart Tips, in September 2019. With AI-powered Smart Tips, we aim to help our customers manage their financials better by offering personalized financial insights, predictions and solutions for the future.
We create insights provided from the personal communication area in Akbank Mobile by processing the big data of our customers with artificial intelligence, and we aim to make their lives easier with these financial tips, to inform them about beneficial Akbank Mobile updates, and to share their excitement with celebration content on special days. Thus, we aim to strengthen our relationship with our customers and increase the financial awareness of our users by providing the best solutions and opportunities for them. We want to be a reliable financial partner for our customers by providing predictions and suggestions regarding cash flow, spending and savings.
With this function, we experienced the happiness of being the first bank in Turkey by assisting customers with AI-powered, proactive and internal financial forecast based insights to direct them toward financial awareness. We started our work in 2018 to offer this service to our customers, and we conducted a comprehensive study from the preparation of data infrastructure to cthe ustomer research during the project process. In September 2019, we implemented 16 insights as a result of a very intense work with almost all units of the bank. As a result of the works, we are still working to improve the competence of Smart Tips, which has become a very rich service with more than 40 insights, hundreds of scenarios and solution suggestions. Of course, in this process, we care all issues related to customer data security and KVKK (Personal Data Protection Law).
Figure 1. Smart Tips / Design Studies
We can list some of the insights we currently offer to our customers as follows:
• Weekly and monthly expenditure analysis
• Unusual expenditure and money entry notifications
• Weekly cash flow forecast
• Warning about inncrease in corporate payments
• Upcoming payment reminder
• Notification of delay in regular incoming money
Figure 2. Smart Tips / Help and Suggestion Interfaces
Today, 4 out of 5 Akbank Mobile users are faced with Smart Tips and deals tailored to them. For our customers, we generate more than 20 million personal tips each month on average. We observe that our customers, who prefer different channels for their financial transactions in pre-launch periods, now started to use Akbank Mobile channel for their post-launch transactions. We would like to point out that the feedbacks we receive from our customers are very important in designing the future of this application, and we want to evaluate every customer feedback we receive.