Nationwide set for data mining gains as CRM plan nears fruition

Building society Nationwide expects to complete by the end of this year a roll-out of a replacement customer relationship...

Building society Nationwide expects to complete by the end of this year a roll-out of a replacement customer relationship management system to provide a single view of its customers across its multi-channel banking platform.

The Nationwide platform, which gives customers internet, telephone and branch-based access to their accounts, was built around Microsoft Windows 2000. However, Nationwide found its CRM software was not sophisticated enough to provide a summary of customer transactions across all channels.

In June 2001, Nationwide began to roll out the new CRM system, initially focusing on branch and telephone-based services.

Michael Humphreys, programme director for the CRM project and head of technology development at Nationwide, said, “We are now able to provide customer-facing staff with relevant customer information.”

In particular, branch and call centre staff can use data mining techniques to offer customers new products based on a profile of their activities. One benefit of this is that the building society will save an estimated £300,000 a year through greater efficiency and more targeted use of marketing materials.

The new system is based on the Portrait package from AIT Group, which also provides software for  Woolwich, Lloyds TSB, Loansdirect, NatWest Stockbrokers and Mark & Spencer Financial Services. Portrait focuses on multi-channel CRM and allows users to configure their CRM around business processes.

The system is being implemented by Unisys in a project costing more than £10m. It will support 680 branches and two call centres and handle 18 million accounts for 10 million customers.

Humphreys said the project’s success would be measured by the number of new customers Nationwide gains as a result of the customer management system and the number of additional products its existing customers take out.

Nationwide is next month expected to announce an extension of the use of biometric electronic signature technology, following a trial earlier this year.

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