The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s new ‘Benefits Finder’ functionality which ‘nudges’ customers towards a $10 billion pool of welfare benefits and rebates from all tiers of Australian government, has proved a roaring success in the month since its launch.
Speaking at CEBIT in Sydney, CBA’s chief analytics officer Andrew McMullan said that after the finder’s launch in mid-September, more than 6 million customers have been connected to relevant benefits.
“Since our recent launch, we’ve seen more than 170,000 claims started, and 10,000 more processed every week.
“With 189 benefits available, and more added every day, we’re well on our of meeting our goal of putting an extra $150 million in customer pockets every year.”
He said the success of the platform is linked to the banks’ centralised customer engagement engine (CEE), a powerful machine learning based platform built with Pegasystems and Harvard University’s Sustainability Transparency Accountability and Research (STAR) Lab.
McMullan said the engine’s analytics capability automatically finds rebate programs or benefits for which each individual customer has a high probability of being able to receive.
The CEE was originally run on a single laptop running out of just one CBA branch, McMullan said, to replicate the kind of personal knowledge branch managers used to have about their personal and business banking clients.
It has since been plugged into the bank’s customer-facing channels including ATMs, mobile apps, SMS and email systems to streamline interactions and reduce fragmented communications across business units.
Last year CBA said the engine had been scaled up to the point where it could automatically suggest 20 million conversation starters a day across both physical and digital channels.
More recently iTnews revealed that the bank is using the CEE to prompt 600,000 customers to spend unused credit card points, with other capabilities continually being developed - some in as little as a day.
McMullan said while normal development cycles often take a little more than a day, the CEE is able to use real-time data from millions of customers to inform its machine learning algorithms and drastically decrease the time to a live product.
And now, CBA fis looking to deliver that capability elsewhere.
“We will be rolling it out across other parts of the world as well.
“So ASB in New Zealand, and Bankwest in Western Australia are building and will be leveraging very similar technology.”