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How banks can obtain a valuable single customer view (SCV)

Many financial institutions are experiencing share price fluctuations and some uncertainty as events play out from the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

While navigating their way through the current macroeconomic climate it’s very important, if they are not already doing so, to focus on delivering a competitive advantage to help drive long term growth, and improve their operational efficiency.

The best way to achieve these objectives is via obtaining a single citizen view (SCV) of those on their database. Doing so provides a better understanding of customers, enabling the personalisation of communications. Having a SCV also enables improvements to the delivery of products and services further supporting a competitive advantage, and operational efficiencies with a reduction in inaccurate communications and their associated cost.

Those banks with a SCV will deliver enhanced customer retention rates, increased customer revenue and generate a standout user experience. Taking this approach will also play a valuable role in supporting their current know their customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) efforts, reducing the opportunity for fraud, which is on the increase.

Data decays swiftly

One of the biggest obstacles to delivering a SCV is data decay, with user contact data degrading at 25 per cent a year without regular intervention, as people move home and get married, for example. Contact data collection at the customer onboarding stage is also a big issue with about 20 per cent of addresses entered online containing errors. These include spelling mistakes, wrong house numbers, and incorrect postcodes, that are primarily caused by people mistyping their details into small keyboards on their mobile devices.

Correcting incorrect contact data to help deliver a SCV can usually be undertaken with simple, cost-effective changes, which includes utilising data cleaning technology as part of your data quality regime.

Data cleaning should involve cleansing and standardising held customer data to deliver data quality in batch, as well as when new data is collected, in real-time. Furthermore, the cleansing tools used in this process should be able to enhance the data by filling in any missing contact details.

Autocomplete prevents input errors

Using technology, such as an address autocomplete or lookup, are vital in ensuring the collection of accurate address data at the customer onboarding stage. They provide a properly formatted, correct address when the user starts to input theirs. They also improve the customer experience by reducing the number of keystrokes required, by up to 81 per cent, when typing an address. Additionally, by speeding up the onboarding process, they reduce the probability of the user not completing an application for an account or service, for example.

The good news is the first point of contact verification can be extended beyond address to email and phone, enabling these valuable contact data channels to be verified in real-time. This ensures the ability to communicate effectively with users, not just on the first occasion but on an ongoing basis, which supports the delivery of a SCV.

Match and dedupe

Duplication of data is a huge problem in the banking sector with recent research in City AM highlighting that databases of those in this industry contain on average of 10 per cent duplicate records. This is often caused by mistakes in contact data collection at different touchpoints or when departments merge their data.   

Duplicate data adds cost in terms of time and money with customer communications, the delivery of which can adversely impact on the sender’s reputation. It can also cause security issues, which could cause problems for customers trying to gain access to their accounts.

To prevent duplication an advanced fuzzy matching tool is essential. It’s able to merge and purge the most challenging records, making it possible to create a ‘single user record’ and obtain an optimum SCV. It also reduces the potential for fraud by establishing a unified record for each customer.


Those in financial services must use data cleaning tools that fill in any gaps in the contact data, such as a missing telephone number, as well as correct them where required. This will aid the delivery of a SCV and improve the customer experience.  

SaaS and data quality

Today, it’s possible to obtain a scalable data cleaning software as a service (SaaS) platform which requires no code, integration or training. Simply plug in and benefit immediately. Such a service can instantly cleanse and correct names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers, worldwide. A single, intuitive interface provides the opportunity for data standardisation, validation, and enrichment, resulting in high-quality contact information in real-time across multiple databases to help engender a SCV.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As AI evolves it’s adding even greater value when it comes to delivering a SCV. For example, a type of machine learning called semantic technology can deliver high value, in-depth intelligence on your customers. Semantic technology, or semtech, associates words with meanings and recognises the relationships between them. It works by delivering powerful real-time connections between records, combining the missing pieces of data to support an informed decision about the content of a communication to a user.

In today’s volatile economic climate the value of obtaining a SCV is clear for those in financial services who are serious about gaining a competitive advantage that helps to drive long term growth, reduce operational costs and the opportunity for fraud. To accomplish this necessitates having clean customer data, which can best be acquired via sourcing and using data cleaning technology that can correct customer data in real-time in batch and at the onboarding stage, along with deduplicating and enriching data.



Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 20 March, 2023, 11:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

During GFC, UK regulators mooted SCV for UK Banks in order to expedite the insurance payouts of failed banks. It got canned due to prohibitively high costs relative to the low frequency of potential use.

Will it be any different now?

Barley Laing

Barley Laing

UK Managing Director


Member since

28 Jan 2019



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