Absa Regional Operations Data Analytics Team wins big at global Financial Innovation Awards

Absa Regional Operations’ (ARO) Data Analytics team, has won the 2019 Best Technology Initiative – Rest of the World award at the Financial Innovation Awards for its Customer360 (C360) platform. ARO comprises Absa Group’s subsidiaries outside South Africa.

The ARO Data Analytics team took first prize in the category for the web-based platform, the first of its kind in Africa, designed to provide a holistic view of each customer while converting data into valuable customer insights. The award was presented by the London Institute of Banking and Finance at an award ceremony recently hosted in London.

Customer360 (C360) was developed to ensure a single point of access to various analytical models that provide key insights across the banking spectrum. Through Customer360, Absa uses data analytics and data science models, combined with basic customer data and other data sets and variables, to pre-empt customer behaviour and identify new customer needs. The information is presented in several data visualisation forms while some of the platform’s other interactive features help the bank to increase customer engagement. Customer360 tackles the issue of data availability in banking, especially in emerging markets, where many of the continent’s citizens are unbanked. In a market where a customer-centric approach can translate to a competitive advantage, Absa is set to use the valuable insights to drive business growth through understanding our customer needs better.

“We have put customer innovation at the heart of our strategy and aim to not only meet but anticipate their needs. We have recognised that our customers’ needs are changing and have been investing in digital technology to offer more convenience across the continent”, said Vimal Kumar, Chief Executive of Head of Retail & Business Banking (RBB) at ARO. He added, “As part of that, we have recently upgraded some of our technology infrastructure and continue to invest in digital platforms such as C360 as we work towards becoming a scalable digitally led bank across the continent”.

The Financial Innovation Awards recognise some of the most innovative companies in the banking and finance sector. This year, 64 companies were shortlisted for awards in 22 categories.

Absa believes it has a role to play and intends to leverage digital technology to expand reach, financial inclusion and access to financial services. Analytics on omni-channel allow the bank to tap into the pool of unbanked citizens and improve financial inclusion levels – a key component of Absa’s strategy. Their ambition is to become a digitally led bank that is centred around the ever-changing needs of customers and the all-inclusive customer insights from the platform will inform and enable the business growth through a better understanding of customer needs, especially in emerging markets.

ARO is a significant player in the banking and financial services sector across the continent. “We have been a key a contributor to various economies across Africa and look forward to using C360 to increase financial inclusion, a key enabler to reducing poverty for the continent’s unbanked and boosting prosperity in the communities we serve,” said Kumar.

Source: Barclays Bank Zambia (part of Absa Regional Operations)