Arijeet Rana, Associate Director – Sales (SEA & ANZ), MoEngage
D’Artagnan Aguilar, CMO, CIMB
Mikal Rallonza, Vice President – Sales Distribution, SB Finance
Daniel Štanc, Head of Customer Lifecycle & Business Intelligence, Home Credit Philippines
Raymund Villanueva, Head of Brand & Growth Marketing, GoTyme Bank
Moderator: I am going to start with my first question, which is for Raymund. We have been having many discussions around digital transformation.
Digital transformation is an ongoing concept. It doesn’t stop, and banking has seen it. ATMs were a digital transformation. People can go and take out their money. Yet, the most acceleration we have seen is during the pandemic. How do you think Covid has changed customer expectations from banking and FinTech brands? What are your views here?
Raymund: The question is Covid and its effect. This has been said before, but I’ll try to steal this quote. The best digital transformation agent is not your digital transformation office or the digital marketing team. It was Covid. If you guys are still looking, if there’s a digital transformation team, it happened. Now, to give you guys a preview of what happened to us, I was right smack middle of that. I was still in my old role when that happened. Our five-year plan became a six-month plan.
That is the effect. That completely changed our roadmap. Now the best advice, and I’ll start, and hopefully, you guys can learn from our mistakes. We split the whole conversation between digital and non-digital marketing and digital marketing customer experience and digital customer experience.
That whole concept of those being split has disappeared. Digital is the strategy. That’s the most significant transformation that has not just happened to us. We are a digital organization that pivoted or were forced to pivot. Like all of our plans that were three years set became within six months.
Now, maybe that’s something that people should see is like, we made the mistake of extending it to three years. These guys probably know what I am saying. Everything just got rushed. For people doing a three-year digital transformation plan, you can bring it to six months. So, it is possible.
Moderator: That’s an interesting point of view because digital is the only way now. I was talking to a banker friend. He talked about just making that whole experience of going to a bank branch to doing the same thing online is, that’s it. That’s the experience. There’s no change. We’re just making it digital, but those touchpoints must remain the same.
My next question is actually for Mikal, and this again has to do something with the pandemic. Many new users came on these mobile banking apps, new FinTech apps during the pandemic. My grandfather started using digital banking for the first time, and I am sure someone would’ve looted him in India if they had gotten the OTP. He did not know if someone could access that and take out money, but he did know how to use it. It was a very new thing for him. I want to understand some of the specs which banks and financial institutions look at during customer onboarding.
How to make this journey easier for the person to access the website or the app? Also, educate them in using it in the right way? How did you go about that?
Mikal: Particularly for the banking and financial industries, one of the key things that the pandemic did was basically shock the banking system. A lot of the banks, major banks in the top 10, there are always dependent on mainframe systems. Number one is where your system is.
It is now a standard that has to be in the cloud. So that’s one of the key things that fast-track the development and ship. Once you’re in the cloud, you now look into onboarding. I have a different view on digital being the strategy. Digital is a means; it’s a tool, it’s technology. You always focus back on the product, whether it’s selling goods for mothers or us providing financial services, either cash or credit. That is the key. Before this company, I was in a company that was purely mobile. However, it is a mix when you get into financial transactions, especially the mass market.
You have four types of customers. You’ve got your digital natives, you’ve got your people consuming information and transacting offline, and a mix of those transacting online, but information offline. So it’s a mix of both offline and online. Zalora realized it. When they started with purely digital, they had pop-up stores to check the fit of the clothes so they won’t return them.
Many e-commerce companies have learned that as well. It is not just digital. The product is not a smartphone. The product is still what we sell. In our case, we sell credit; we sell financial services. We focus on that and see if it’s digital is the way for us. Yes, it is, for reaching out to the mass market. That’s one of the best. Same as what Raymund said. Our plan, which was supposed to be three years was compressed into six months. In our case, our target was to come from a gradual shift to a mobile app in four years which became about four or five to six months.
So we needed to fast-track on that, and it was good. Good for me because we were pushing digital, and it was very hard to. The pandemic helped us convince the shareholders.
Moderator: Thanks a lot, that’s interesting what you shared, especially on the offline education of the customers to adopt digital or adopt these apps. So that’s a very interesting aspect. I am going to go to D’Artagnan now and this question is about personalization. Something came up earlier, and Bella was also asked a question. Personalization. I want to understand the role of personalization and automation in improving the customer experience and driving loyalty.
What nuances in marketing and product professions need to be kept in mind while personalizing and automating the campaign? It’s indirectly a question that came from the audience. Maybe you can shed a little more light on that.
D’Artagnan: Personalization is very crucial in our strategy for CIMB. A substantial quantity of our almost 6 million, the database we acquired through G Cash. So their first touchpoint is GCash. Therefore, it’s important for us to establish personalization onboard.
With CIMB because at the end of the day, there needs to be clarity about whether it is the G Safe product, GCash product, or a CIMB product. So I am here to correct it. It is a CIMB product. So it’s a CIMB product. It’s very important for us to onboard our customers from the GCash and link their accounts to our mobile app where we can personalize. It’s not to say that we cannot personalize on the G Cash, platform because we can. We have visibility on the data of the usage behavior of our clients, but more so on our app. We can personalize on our app, especially if, for example, we want to cross-sell our revolving credit product to them.
So that’s very important. That’s why personalization, as I mentioned, is very critical to CIMB. So that’s one thing. The other thing is that it’s also important for the brand CIMB to personalize how we communicate with our customers. I don’t know if you know but we hardly do any paid media. That’s not our strategy. Our strategy is to acquire through our partners, and then once we acquire them, we talk to them one-on-one. That’s how we grow our business. It’s very important, from a CIMB brand that, you know, we personalize our communication so that they will have a good experience with the CIMB brand.
Secondly, personalization also makes us very agile in analyzing the usage behavior and cross-selling our products to our customers. So, those are the things concerning personalization. I hope I answered your question
Moderator: It was interesting to understand that personalization starts from the day you onboard the user, and it also helps you not only in communicating with the user but also understanding the user.
D’Artagnan: Yes. So personalization for us is not just communications, but also how we can offer, that’s one offer our product.
Second is how do we stimulate usage? Among our customers, for example, in the past six months, the customer hasn’t done anything to the deposit. So through MoEngage, we send them a CRM campaign to encourage them to stimulate usage to these customers.
Moderator: Thanks a lot for that. You touched upon LTV now, which is my question to Daniel. All these metrics indirectly lead to increasing the lifetime value of a customer. The customer’s lifetime value. So, how does customer experience improve lifetime value?
The second part of it – What are those metrics that customer experience can impact? Can it impact revenue, upselling and cross-selling rates which D’Artagnan just talked about?
Daniel: I think the customer experience and lifetime value go hand in hand. Then, it’s like marriage. If you want to stay married for a long time, you want to have it as smoothly as possible without any obstacles. That’s the same with the customer experience. Especially right now in the digital world, we don’t want to make our customers’ life more difficult.
We are there in the FinTech and the banking industry, especially in the mobile world. Just once in a while when they need us. You want to have this experience as smooth as possible. Open the app, do something, and close it. It’s playing a crucial role, and we are spending much time trying to understand the customers.
What was said about the covid was real. We did many studies and it was funny because the digital acceleration in the Philippines happened so fast. So, I am pretty sure that everybody went through that. When you ask your customers what experience they would like, they still give you old stuff. I want face-to-face. I don’t want to go digital. I want to go to the payment partner and sit there in a queue for 20 minutes. That’s a nice way. However, in digital acceleration, we all have to learn. We have to show the market what it could be. I am really happy about that. The whole market is seeing the value in that one.
In terms of values to those important metrics and KPIs, I believe the journey must be as, as simple and as easy as possible. Each part of the journey, it’s different. In terms of the lifetime value, it’s about the funnel. Having those many people at the beginning, get them on board, and then show them the value we can give them. Not only through customer experience but of course, parameters to the product, et cetera.
Let them choose whether they want to stay with you. If they want to stay with you, they will bring value to you. It’s like marriage, you married well, then you will stay together for a long time and you’ll be bringing each other a really big value. That’s what we are trying to do. We really want to create a long-term partnership with our customers, especially those good ones. The customer experience in the digital world is one of the key elements.
Moderator: What are these metrics that impact the longevity of the marriage? Which are the customer life cycles? What are these metrics?
Daniel: I talked about revenue upselling and cross-selling.
Moderator: So, is there a direct impact?
Daniel: Yeah. I believe that one of the most important metrics is retention. Upselling and cross-selling are also important, but for me, it is retention. That people are staying with you. Ideally, without us having much of a cost of re-acquiring them again.
Moderator: Thanks a lot. That was an interesting way to answer that question and set the premise. So, thanks a lot for that. I am going to come back to, Mikal now, and Mikal, my next question to you.
From your experience, how important is having a complete understanding of your customers? To see perfect information about your customers, which can be behavioral, demographic, geographical, etc. The second part is how can have a complete view of these customers. That single view of these customers can help you recommend the right product, which enables you to upsell and cross-selling your product.
Mikal: It depends on what your product is. In our case, we are a financing company, so our product is similar to HomeCredit. We’re financing, we’re giving credit, we’re lending. So we need to know who the customer is. The traditional way started with the card business. When you’re going to apply, you have this long form that has boxes, which are smaller than you can see, and spaces that are shorter than your actual name. You write that down, send it to somebody, somebody encodes it into the system, and then upload it to an Excel file.
Where did it come from? From the person wanting to get credit. If someone is going to court you before you got married, we don’t say, “oh, by the way, I have a lot of loans. I’ve been delinquent before, so can I borrow money from you?” Of course. I wouldn’t say that. If you’re going to ask me for information, I am going to give you the information I think you want.
That’s the beauty of digitization and having it on a mobile. Digitization has been there with the intent of eliminating paper, but now it’s there to get to know your customer by the device. That’s hard data. By the device itself, I can assess whether you have an iPhone 13, so you most probably have money.
You are going from point to point regularly, probably an employee. So that information to us is very important to give credit to. In the credit field, the buzzword before was risk-based pricing. The riskier you are, the more expensive the product is for you. That’s not very customer-centric.
The capability of MoEngage for companies like us, allows us actually to do risk-based servicing. So it’s not just a price. We have multiple products on our mobile app, and they’re all loans. In each product, there are different types of transactions you can make.
When you get a credit card, you can use it for whatever, regardless of your risk profile. However, if I have tools like what MoEngage can give us. Then I can say, “Oh, for now, this is what you can do. If you get better, then maybe you can do this.” Then I can do push notifications. “Oh, by the way, would you like to get the cash loan instead of just buying from AdiMama check out with SB Finance.” That was a shout-out. We’re going to talk to you later, by the way, as a payout option. So, that’s the power we get on understanding who the customer is, not from what they want to show but based on their behavior and what they use on their mobile. That’s very important to us.
Moderator: Thanks a lot for sharing that. You talked about introducing empathy when talking to the customers and creating a goal-oriented plan for them. So whenever they hit X or Y, you can reward them.
Mikal: You can gamify the behavior. It was led by the central bank. In terms of wallets, the more information you give, then the more & bigger transactions you can make. Similarly, for credit, the more information I can get from you or you allow me to get from your device, then the more services based on your behavior we can give you.
Moderator: Perfect. Jen, please take note of it because she’s from Talent One, which is the loyalty partner. They can gamify the entire solution for you.
Moderator: I am going to come to Raymund now. What is the role of customer experience in building FinTech? I know you’re building a brand right now. You’ve been working on this for a long, so you’ll probably have a more personal point of view here.
What are some of the messaging channels that work in educating your customers? So we touched on those touchpoints with D’Artagnan earlier, but maybe you can highlight a little more.
Raymund: The question is, what is the role of customer experience in building a brand? Now I am a marketer. I look around this room. Most of the people who have joined this summit are marketers. Our holy grail is building a wonderful brand. Now, there is another world. I’ve been in digital and started my old role building that brand without any engagement tools whatsoever. That sucked. Let me tell you the reason. In the digital space, if you have a digital product, 70% of brand building, it’s not what marketers do. Sorry, I just made fun of all the marketers here, including myself. It’s actually on the customer experience. That is a bold statement for a marketer to say out loud that my job can only contribute 30% or even less. That is why tools like MoEngage are pretty critical in building a brand.
Now, that’s the first angle I will look at. Being able to send them the right message, that’s part of it. Now customer experience is not just about being able to give them the right offer or all of these things. It’s also being able to improve your customer experience on the fly.
When we brought in MoEngage, I thought I needed this right now because I don’t want to make the same mistakes I did before. I don’t want to do that anymore, but I know how long cycles are for digital products. So to the people who touch digital products, you know how much fun we talk with tech and product and roadmaps and say, “oh, I need this because this customer insight is happening.” And you’re going to be like, “Oh man, that’s going to come out in three months if you’re lucky, because we have a roadmap. Now alleviating that are tools like this. If you mess up on customers, you can use MoEngage to nudge it, at least to alleviate those things properly.
That’s what’s important here. For those people and marketers here, the intersection between brand and customer experience and growth is muddled. That acceleration from Covid showed us that just as digital and, you know, offline experience. By the way, GoTime Bank also has an offline experience, so I agree with what he said.
However, they’re all mixed between your organizations, customer experience, brand builders, and product people. I disagree that a marketer’s job is to build a brand. No, it’s everyone’s job to build a brand. It’s our job also to save the product if we mess up on the experience. That’s why tools like MoEngage are not just a customer engagement tools or a marketing tool for me. It is more like a customer experience tool that hopefully saves you if you mess up. Also, it can help you build the brand because it can personalize that experience. Then once you personalize that experience, you gain customers. So that’s the rule.
Now I am going to answer the messaging channel part. The Philippines is quite different. I came from the US right after college and spent around ten years in the Bay Area. I was doing e-commerce, Yahoo, and all that fun stuff. Email was king there. I’ll tell you right now, and sorry if there are email service providers here. When we forced people to put email in the digital app, we lost around 40% of consumers. That’s crazy because everyone here is probably professional, and we do day-to-day work with email. Except for the advanced ones who live and work on Slack. People are laughing because they think there are never going to use email, only Slack.
To answer your question, straightforward messaging apps like Viber are probably the next email tool. Granted, I still need to execute it and it will not come out during my launch, but rest assured, I will be pushing Viber. What are the rules on that, and how to execute that? That’s still an open field. Just as email had to mature a couple of years, messaging as the CRM tool of choice will also mature. I hope to give what’s on my mind and share it with you guys.
Moderator: I have a quick question there. Have you seen the CTRs on Viber messaging, though? Do you have any insights on that?
Raymund: Great one! No, I haven’t because this is still all theory for me. So to the people that have shifted their email marketing to Viber, I need to talk to you. I don’t know yet.
Moderator: That will be an exciting thing to think about. We have seen in WhatsApp, 16 to 17% CTRs. Insanely high CTRs. So I believe Viber will be an interesting experiment for our product team. Thanks a lot for that, Raymund. My next question is for Daniel again. I am going to ask you something straightforward.
What interesting trends have you seen in the FinTech industry in the past one or two years? What are those emerging trends? Have we seen a lot of voice bots, voice payments, and those robotic process automation companies come up? Do any of these new technologies have also been able to help you out in your customer experience?
Daniel: I will start with the first part of your question. We are lucky here in the Philippines because we are not the first country in the world to go through digitization. We had China, the United States, and other countries to learn from. Some studies show Filipinos spend four hours a day on their mobile phone. So, you want to be there as a company. You want to have your product there.
I am looking forward to not seeing so many bank branches all over the place. However, it takes time.
The second part of the question; some tools are customer-facing that are making the life of customer service more accessible. Voice bot, chatbot, and all of those things are needed.
You want service to those challenging tasks and answer challenging questions. ‘What is my account number?’ is something that you don’t have to have an operator on a call to tell you. So, that’s one part. The other part is the backend of the digital era. It was said that the data was the new oil 15 years ago.
It’s still valid now, and we have all the data, but we are drowning there rather than utilizing it properly. A time will come when all of the decisions can be explained because segment A is getting the red color, and segment B is getting the blue color. All of those tools — automation tools, AI, will have to give it up. There’s so much data, so much processing. There was one question: How do you go through all the data and touchpoints? In the last two years, the volume of first-party data has increased so much that each company possesses tremendous data.
We know more about our customers. They know about themselves. We need to structure it and create something tangible. So, there is a nice product, there is a nice service, and this is something that will help us.
These tools will exceed the capacities of all human brains. At the C level or senior management, there will be a time when we will have to give up all the decision-making power. Suppose there is a black box. It has all the data it needs, all the processing power it needs, and that black box is telling us what to do, and we simply have to trust it.
Moderator: Fair enough. To be honest with the last point, we are creating a product called Proactive Assistant, which keeps telling you what campaigns to make.
So we are nearly starting that journey, but that’s just to help you with the ROI. Not to remove people out of jobs, I promise.
Moderator: You talked about big data and data never being enough. My next and last question on the panel is for D’Artagnan and something around that. How can banking and FinTech brands leverage big data to make individualized customer recommendations? If you can share a few highlights on that.
D’Artagnan: Big data is a reality for us right now, but before, it used to be customer relations management. The thing with customer relations management was that you did not have data or the data was not real-time. So by the time you touch the host pre-boom of digital, it would’ve been too late. The advantage of having big data right now is that you can touch the customer in real-time. You can be more agile. For example, recently, we looked at our database, and a part of our customers have been inactive for the past six months. So if it were pre-digital, we would have activated a stimulus campaign for them in the next three months. Since we know the data now, we can touch them and offer something to them to stimulate their usage.
Secondly, big data is also very important. Based on research, the top two most important motivators that a client looks for in terms of going to a bank or transferring to another bank are — makes me feel important and knows what I want. So big data will help us make our customers feel important and make them feel that we know what they want. So I think that that’s the road of big data right now.
Moderator: And I have one more question about it. Many companies talk about this. There’s many data coming in and data is never enough. What is relevant data here? Do you also have an approach to using that relevant data for communicating?
D’Artagnan: We do segment marketing. We segment our market into several segments. Then from there, we analyze usage behavior — past three months, past six months, past year, active & inactive users. So we do a lot of data analysis. That’s how we use data.
Then we find gaps. As soon as we identify a gap, the data becomes relevant because we know how to talk to the customer. Returning to personalization, we can personalize how we talk to the customer based on the data.
Moderator: Well, thanks a lot. So segmentation makes it possible. You can segment it, make it easier, and use only relevant data for your customers. So we have another 10 minutes left on the panel. So we had some interesting discussion here. I want to open the flow for questions.