Feeds

Listen up banks: women are worth IT

'Archaic' systems stifling marketing campaigns

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Britain's banking sector has been told to jizz up its customer databases to more effectively target the female market.

Based on their latest research, financial consultants at Accenture are urging British banks to reorganise their "archaic IT" as well as the information they keep on customers so as to improve the way they market new products to them - particularly women who are statistically more open to switching banks when offered a competitive alternative.

"Rather than simply slapping on 'pink branding', the key is delivering carefully-crafted products supported by clear, targeted and timely advice utilising both the internet and well-informed advisers, which is something very much within the ability of banks to deliver," report author Natasha Miller said.

More than half (55 per cent) of the 1,000 women surveyed by Accenture said they were likely to switch providers "if a bank was proposing tailored financial products for a woman's different life stages (e.g. get married, have children, get divorced, become retired, become widowed)".

However, Miller, a senior executive in Accenture's Banking Industry Practice who penned the "Because They're Worth It" polemic, said British banks were unable to effectively seize this market opportunity because their IT systems were not geared up to record customer data and lifestyle changes.

"Lifestyles have changed dramatically in the past 20 years leading to greater financial independence for women, but the financial services industry has not kept pace," she said. "Often banks do not hold the relevant information. But even when they do they are often unable to access their data in a way that allows them to create appropriate products and services."

Miller said IT is the fundamental problem, because the typical bank's IT system is based on a 1960s-era mainframe. "While these have had all sorts of extra systems added to them over the years, there is only so much you get from 40-year-old technology," she said. "This is a major stumbling block.

"This inability to store and process customer data in useful ways is at the heart of the problem faced by many banks and building societies. They do not have the data in enough detail to identify profitable niches and market to them effectively," Miller said.

In other advice relevant to the Irish banking sector, Miller pointed out that British banks need to target other distinct social groups, particularly workers from Eastern Europe.

One Irish bank that is upping its game in terms of IT is AIB. The high street bank has engaged financial IT firm i-flex to help deliver "one of the most important transformational projects in AIB's history" by implementing a common IT operating model for retail banking operations throughout the AIB's domestic and British retail operations.

AIB already uses i-flex's FLEXCUBE Universal Banking Solution for its wholesale banking operations, and the retail transformation project is expected to be completed within the next three and a half years.

AIB said the strategic partnership with i-flex meant it would be in a position to streamline and more efficiently handle customer data.

Copyright © 2007, ENN

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.