Absa Regional Operations’ (ARO) Data Analytics team has won the 2020 Best use of Analytics in Financial Services at the Retail Banking International Awards held in London, on 24 June 2020. This marks the second such award for its Customer360 (C360) analytics platform. Absa Group’s businesses (excluding South Africa) won this award against several international banks. Customer360 (C360) was developed to ensure a single point of access to various analytical models that provide key insights across the banking spectrum. Through Customer360, Absa uses data analytics and data science models, combined with basic customer data and other data sets and variables, to pre-empt customer behaviour and identify new customer needs. Customer360 tackles the issue of data availability in banking, especially in emerging markets, where many of the continent’s citizens are unbanked. In a market in which a customer-centric approach can translate to a competitive advantage, Absa is set to use the valuable insights to drive business growth through understanding its customer needs better. “We have seen our clients adopt more of our digital offerings, particularly during the pandemic, and we certainly hope that this continues and grows beyond COVID-19. We are investing heavily in the future Absa digital experience to not only meet, but also, anticipate the evolving needs of our customers across the continent,” said Vimal Kumar, Chief Executive for Retail & Business Banking (RBB), Digital and Customer Experience at ARO. He added: “As part of that, we have recently upgraded some of our technology infrastructure and continue to invest in digital platforms such as C360 as we work towards becoming a scalable digitally led bank across the continent.” The Retail Banking International Global Awards recognise outstanding and high-achieving retail banks across the globe, as well as awarding an individual prize for Retail Banker of the Year. These prestigious awards are a mark of quality and represent immense achievement and success. “With the significant investments we have been making in Big Data and Digitalisation of customer journeys, we believe we are building towards delivering hyper-personalised experiences for our customers”, said Kumar. Absa believes it has a role to play and intends to leverage digital technology to expand reach, financial inclusion and access to financial services. Analytics allow the bank to tap into the pool of those unbanked and improve financial inclusion levels – a key component of Absa’s strategy. Its ambition is to become a digitally led bank that is centred around the customer. The all-inclusive customer insights generated from the platform will inform and enable the business’ growth through a better understanding of customer needs, especially in emerging markets. Absa is a significant player in the banking and financial services sector across the continent. “We continue to a partner with various economies across Africa and look forward to improving our ability to use data sets more effectively to also drive financial access, a key enabler to driving economic growth for the continent’s unbanked and boosting prosperity in the communities we serve,” said Kumar.