CBA’s new weather data model predicts when customers need support for natural disasters

Australians are often impacted by natural disasters, with bushfires and floods featuring far too often in our country. Each time this occurs, there’s a chain of events that unfold resulting in support claims to financial providers. Understanding these will occur in the future, CommBank is now using technology to predict and be ready to support customers impacted by natural disasters, faster than ever before.

The new technology solution uses custom-built algorithms to monitor, in real-time, a mix of data points from official  emergency sources and weather alert systems to offer same-day 1:1 support to those customers impacted by natural  disasters. The new smart data model analyses and interprets a range of data sources to help the bank accurately contact  affected customers the same day to offer assistance, wherever they are located.  

Most recently, the bank was able to offer same-day personalised support to 80,000 customers who were impacted by the  Perth bushfires. 

“Natural disasters can come out of the blue, and whilst sadly  we can’t prevent them, we can help notify customers so they can prepare, as well as offer affected customers immediate  and personalised support. Using the power of our Customer Engagement Engine we can connect with customers who  may be impacted and also offer support that aligns to their needs, such as deferring a loan or offering an emergency  overdraft.” 

CBA’s Chief Analytics Officer, Dr Andrew McMullan

Recently, CBA announced that it is accelerating its digital strategy with an ambition to provide customers with one of the  best digital experiences of any company globally. It includes investing in technology including data, machine learning and  artificial intelligence to give unique insights into each customer’s individual needs. 

“When a natural disaster hits we know that time is a luxury, so our new automated monitoring system allows us to respond to customers with far better speed, accuracy and personalisation than manual reporting allows.” 

The new solution enables the bank to check-in with customers as to whether they need help, while informing them about  the individual support available. 

“Being able to anticipate our customers’ needs and contact them on the same day that a postcode is identified as being at  risk from a substantial weather event is a game-changer, and something customers in Perth told us they appreciated during the recent bushfires.”

Dr McMullan said his team of world-leading data scientists are building tomorrow’s bank today by reimagining CBA’s products and services. 

“CBA’s Customer Engagement Engine runs around 400 machine learning models across 157 billion data points in real  time so we can add value to our customers in terms of relevance and personal experience – whether that’s through  messages and live in-app chats using the CommBank app, or having relevant conversations in-branch or over the phone. 

“Offering customers timely, relevant and personalised experiences is something we’re continuing to put a lot of focus on across the bank.”

Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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