Swedbank is a big player in banking in Sweden and the Baltic states. Half the population and half of the corporates are customers of the bank. They already have a very engaged customer base, with over 5 million interactions per day, on 8 million customers. This is testament to the successful push into mobile solutions and websites Swedbank has embarked on.
“The bank is 200 years old, a real brick-and-mortar organization. Nowadays, we’re a digital company with some buildings,” according to Ivarsson. This nicely sums up how Swedbank sees the market and its role in it. However, being digital is no longer enough, Ivarsson knows. True to their heritage, Swedbank wanted a first-mover advantage, and decided to transform from a digital into an omnichannel organization.
From back-office to customer engagement
Swedbank has been using Pega for lending operations since 2012, initially purely for back-office administration. Since 2016 they have used Pega for loan origination, primarily for consumer lending. In 2017, they started using Pega for CRM, in a project aimed at getting and providing a 360-degree (omnichannel) view of customers.
As a result of all this, consumers can now apply for loans and mortgages, and have near-instant decisions about whether or not the loan is approved. The decision engine itself only takes about four seconds to produce the decision, the complete process takes a couple of minutes. If some extra information is needed, someone from Swedbank will contact the person applying for a loan or a mortgage. Apart from the person from Swedbank calling the customer, everything else is automated.
Besides digital process automation, Swedbank also focuses on next-best-actions. This is available for both agents and customers, again indicating the self-serving focus of the bank. Many organizations tend to keep the next-best-actions to the agents, who then advise. At Swedbank, the customers can see what the next-best-actions are as well, and then decide themselves whether or not they want to go for them.
Swedbank used to have a lot of siloed information that they didn’t do anything with. Obviously, that’s a shame, as that can be used for customer engagement purposes, and benefit both the bank and the customers.
Getting this data out of their sources in order to maximize its value wasn’t easy by any means. As you can imagine, a bank that’s been around for 200 years has a lot of legacy. They had to connect at least 30 to 40 data sources to the Pega CRM platform. Only then could they produce an MVP. The reason for choosing Pega as the CRM platform, is that it is extremely flexible, according to Ivarsson.
The goal for Swedbank is to provide this 360-degree view for consumers and corporate customers. At first, only employees could access it, but later customers were also allowed to peruse parts of it. Obviously, this ‘picture’ of the customer can be and is linked to the digital process automation and customer engagement platforms. This 360-degree view is after all the starting point for any loans or mortgages, as it provides the agent (or the customer) with up-to-date information about the customer.
Built for self-service, ready to assist
As a bank aiming to enable its customers to handle all their banking digitally themselves, Swedbank needs a good and reliable foundation, to ensure that all the relevant data is loaded into a central location. That’s what connecting the data lake and the Pega platform, and to a certain extent also the 360-degree project is all about.
The customers themselves don’t see all this data and the data sources obviously, nor should they. However, they do see the insights that are the result of it and can act accordingly. That’s what it’s about for a bank whose goal is to let the customer be in control of things.
Swedbank also realizes that the customers can’t or won’t do everything themselves all the time, so at the backend the various channels at the disposal of the agents are linked. In this way they can also get personal, customized help at all the channels available. The agents are aware of what the customer is looking for and can suggest next-best-actions. For Swedbank this is the way to provide tailor-made services, products and offerings to its customers.