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UAE bank builds predictive marketing models

Rakbank is using SAS analytics software to better understand its customers following a successful implementation of the supplier’s anti-money laundering software

UAE-based National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PJSC (Rakbank) has rolled out SAS software to enhance its marketing campaigns after successfully implementing SAS’s anti-money laundering (AML) software.

As the Middle East banking industry faces tighter regulatory frameworks and supervision and a changing competitive landscape, banks have been forced to restructure themselves along geographic or business lines.

To this end, Rakbank first turned to SAS software to help it meet tighter regulations on money laundering, but then decided to use it again to help in another rapidly changing area – customer services.

Rakbank needed an AML platform that was flexible and could adapt to changes in the banking and financial sector as quickly as possible. So, in 2015, it engaged SAS, a provider of business intelligence (BI) and analytics software, to implement its AML software.

Geoff Stecyk, chief operating officer at Rakbank, said the successful implementation of the SAS AML software led the company to roll out SAS Enterprise Miner and SAS Enterprise Guide to support its marketing initiatives.

The bank needed systems that could adapt quickly to changes in the sector, said Stecyk. “SAS AML has increased the bank’s scenario coverage, improving the control around money laundering monitoring activities,” he said. “SAS’s AML software gave us the capability and flexibility to move on to the next generation of AML solutions.”

After the SAS AML implementation, Rakbank wanted to build predictive models to manage its marketing campaigns that allow customers to receive relevant offers at the right time using the right channel, said Stecyk.

Read more about banking IT in the Middle East

The bank’s main aim in rolling out SAS Enterprise Miner and SAS Enterprise Guide is to enhance the customer experience and reduce costs. “Since the implementation of SAS software, the bank has been able to offer bespoke solutions to help understand our customers better and increase our business planning capacity,” he said.

Stecyk said Rakbank recognised the importance of being conscious of customers’ changing needs and seeking to serve them better.

The SAS analytics tools have helped the bank to understand and determine customer behaviour, which is critical when making data-driven business decisions, he said.

Because SAS’s analytics software comes with predictive analytics, the project has brought the bank efficiencies by reducing false positives and investigation time, said Stecyk. “SAS analytics are providing us with information on customer spending patterns, demographic and behavioural aspects, which will help the bank to address customer requirements better.”

Marcel Yammine, general manager for Gulf and emerging markets at SAS, said the company’s analytics software features interactive dialogue boxes that guide users through analytics and reporting tasks ranging from simple to complex, with transparent access to all available data, which can be exported to other Windows and server-based applications.

“Our analytics software helps Rakbank to explore and analyse large volumes of data while simultaneously improving the bank’s prediction accuracy and capacity to make more insightful business decisions,” he said.

Read more on Information technology (IT) in the Middle East

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