Banking on the Data Advantage

How banks can transform data challenges into opportunities

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by Chris Skinner

I am delighted to be invited to write the foreword for this report. For years, I have talked about how banks have the advantage—the data advantage. Banks have the customer data. They can win if they leverage that data correctly, with permissions.

Unfortunately, most incumbent banks have ignored this advantage. They have allowed a lot of customer data to disappear or be ignored. In contrast, most digital banks are focused on using lifestyle financial data to deliver services geared for their customers' lifestyle needs. Traditional banks should have been doing this, but in most cases, they could not because their systems were too fragmented, siloed, and unstructured to achieve it.


The imperative today is to consolidate, rationalize and organize data for more than just risk and fraud requirements. Data today needs to be used for customer intelligent marketing and service. Then the question has to be: what is customer intelligent marketing and service?

It's a tough question as it demands that banks use data, with permission, to provide predictive, proactive service without being creepy. Predictive, proactive service is all about analyzing data and transactions, and seeing trends and correlations that the customer maybe does not see.

Subway Ticket

My favorite example is the bank that noticed I purchase a subway ticket on most days. Over the period of a few months, they could see that I spend thousands on subway tickets and would save a lot if I started using season tickets. But why haven't I got a season ticket? Because I never have enough disposable income to afford one. So this particular bank then offers me a season ticket. They tell me that I can save hundreds with a season ticket—and all I need is to swipe to get one. Guess what? Now I've got the season ticket, and I love the bank.

Having said that, what's really happening here is that the bank is using our transactional data to analyze our financial lifestyle. It is not offering me a season ticket out of some charitable enterprise, but to have me take a loan to buy one. I get the season ticket and save; the bank funds the season ticket and makes money on the loan.

It's a win-win for both.

The thing is that most banks don't think this way. Most banks aren't smart with data. They keep data in silos, fragmented across the organization with no single view of the customer. This is where most banks fail.

The future is one where data will differentiate. Data is the oxygen of the organization. It's not oil or any other form of limited resources. It is a mountain of knowledge that needs to be organized, rationalized, sorted, and consolidated so that the financial firm has more knowledge of the customer and their needs than anyone else.

Future Group

In fact, it intrigues me that most banks fear or are fans of Ecommerce giants. Banks should be following them. What they do best is use customer data to create not just sales, but also relationships. They know that you like ABC and that others who like ABC, also like XYZ. So, they promote XYZ to you. It is not intrusive. It is beneficial.

This is the true nature of data leverage. When a bank has a holistic view of the customer's digital financial life, makes offers and advice based on that life, and does this with permission and acceptance – a critical point as, otherwise, it could be creepy – then you get a win-win situation.

This report from Oracle studies that win-win relationship in-depth and the five trends identified:

  • Customer experience is now vital
  • Customers today have plenty of choices
  • Collaborate to compete
  • Reining in operating costs
  • Operational risk takes the spotlight
Customer Experience

These are critical lessons to learn for the next decade of frantic and cut-throat competition.

I trust you will enjoy this report and look forward to engaging in further dialogue over the next few years regarding competition, innovation, and service based upon data insights and data leverage.

In conclusion: if you are not fit or ready to provide customer intelligent marketing and service through data insights, what are you fit for?

Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner is known as one of the most influential people in technology, and as an independent commentator on fintech through his blog, the His latest book (sixteenth!) is called Doing Digital, and shares the lessons of doing digital transformation learned through interviews with BBVA, China Merchants Bank, DBS, ING and JPMorgan Chase. He chairs the Financial Services Club and Nordic Future Innovation, is a non-executive director of 11:FS and on the advisory boards of various firms including Mode, Moven and Meniga. Mr. Skinner has been an advisor to the United Nations, the White House, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, and is a visiting lecturer with Cambridge University as well as a TEDx speaker.

Executive Summary
Executive Summary

The criticality and force of data is underpinning an evolution in the global banking landscape. In the diverse, growing major economies, data has proven to be a major challenge—but also a massive opportunity for banks that can create a Data Advantage.

Banking models and services are being broken apart, made simpler, and streamlined – but not always by the big incumbent banks. The pandemic has accelerated digital adoption, and consequently, fintechs and major platform tech players have demonstrated that they can leverage technology and data to enable services and reduce costs to deliver financial services in more agile, accessible, and user-friendly ways.

To remain competitive, banks will need to collect and converge all their data from multiple sources into a single database, then cleaning, monitoring, visualizing, analyzing, and interpreting the data to transform it into intelligence.

Key Trends

This report lays out 5 key trends that will impact the financial services industry, touching on customer experience, the rise of digital banks, open banking, and operating costs and risks. Following which, this report covers how banks can create a true Data Advantage and tap into the data economy by adopting a data-first approach centered on the customer. A selection of real-world case studies is also provided to showcase how financial institutions like ICICI Bank, Westpac and BBVA have leveraged data to transform their business and operations.

In the data-led future, the winners will be those with the most robust model for data management and control. At Oracle, we help organizations leverage the power of data to overhaul their back office, transform their front office, and deliver amazing customer experiences.

Why act now
“In the battle between FinTech, challenger banks, Big Tech and incumbent banks, many incumbent banks are suffocating. They just don’t know it yet.”
- Chris Skinner

In the new digital normal, a bank's ability to thrive hinges on its ability to gain mastery over its data. The deluge of data from newly-digitized systems and services is a double-edged sword—if not managed and utilized well, the sheer volume, variety, and velocity of data generated by financial transactions can quickly strain and overwhelm business systems, increasing management and compliance complexities that, in turn, can dramatically affect profitability.

35 %

of customers adopted online banking since the start of the pandemic7.

Adopted Online
7FinTech Magazine, What 2020 tought us about digital banking and engagement, Nov 2020
37 %

of execs state that customer data problems lead to broken customer journeys1

1Oracle, Customer Experience Trends in Finanial Services, 2020
33 %

increase in financial crime compliance costs in 2020 compared to 20198.

8PRNewsWire, LexisNexis Risk Solutions Study Reveals Financial Crime Compliance Costs Increase 33% in 2020 at Financial Institutions in the United States and Canada, Oct 2020

However, when used strategically, data can be a valuable source of actionable insights to improve customer experiences and internal processes and reduce risk.

84 %

of the S&P 500's market value is intangible assets9, but…

Market Value
9Business Intangibles, Intangible Assets Increase to 84% of the 7P 500's Value in 2015 Report, 2015
<5 %

of organizations know the value of their data10.

Forces Impacting
10Oracle Retail Banking Survey, The Edge, S&P Global, McKinsey. The Brink News, The American Banker

The forces impacting the banking industry are all driven—and can be met by—data. Banks need a data-first approach centered on the customer. They need a single complete data-driven platform to help them accelerate business automation, innovation and experience.

They need the Data Advantage.

Seizing the Data Advantage

Data is the currency of the digital business landscape. For banks, the Data Advantage means better and easier monetization, increased efficiency, and reduced costs. It means the ability to deliver personalized experiences and engagements to create greater value for both the banks and their customers. It means gaining these unique strengths:

Bank Achieve


Secure and compliant data management, underwriting, and auditing will help meet regulatory commitments, minimize reputational risk, and support the customer journey and lifecycle.



Rapidly generate insights from real-time data to spin up new capabilities and evolve your supply or value chain, at scale and in line with growing customer sophistication and expectation.



Support customers with optimized and value-driven experiences through unified processes that are interconnected at every level.



Gain a competitive edge against both incumbent and digital banks with a 360-degree view of your customers, CRM, sales, and acquisitions.

To grasp this Data Advantage, banks need to learn to leverage data as a form of capital to develop superior services and improve business processes—and that means transforming into a data-driven business.

Milestones Click to Expand

Data-driven businesses require a unified focus on skills, back-end processes, core IT infrastructure and enterprise data architecture to achieve data liquidity, productivity, and security, built on a foundation of data governance. Only with these data characteristics in place can a bank truly unlock its data capital.

Data Driven

Getting data from its point of origin to its many points of use efficiently to reduce the time, cost, and effort of repurposing data.

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Data Liquidity

Optimizing the incremental revenue generated and costs avoided by applying data to decisions and actions.

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Data Productivity

Providing protection for both the observer and the observed over observations about them.

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Built on a foundation of data governance

The datafication of nearly every activity in personal, commercial, and civic life has rewritten the social contract between people, companies, and governments. As a result, keeping data secure means not just authorization, access, encryption, and auditing, but also transparency and upholding data property rights declared in a patchwork of overlapping regulations worldwide.

Achieving these characteristics in a cost-effective, highly-efficient manner requires a strategic transformation partner that understands the technical requirements and has the necessary capabilities—a partner like Oracle.

Partnership with Oracle

When you're embedding a digital core into your bank, you need a partner that has mastered data, understands financial services, and whose solutions give you the flexibility to deploy precisely to your needs.

We know financial services

Helping financial institutions succeed on our platforms

  • 26 billion transactions
  • 400 million retail loans
  • 37 million policies
  • 9000+ global customers
  • 180+ partners dedicated to financial institutions
We know banking


Digital and incumbent banks chose Oracle


Countries with banks powered by Oracle


Successful digital bank transformations

Oracle Fintech Innovation Program provides

Mutually Monetizable

Mutually monetizable relationships with fintech and digital banking innovators.

Accelerated Ecosystem

Accelerated ecosystem maturation with accelerated productization and monetization of fintech innovation.

Faster Time

Faster time to innovation which in turn, provides more value to banks and insurers.

Oracle's flexible, end-to-end FSI solution stack

Oracle's integrated tech stack seamlessly join the dots between your front office and back office to streamline operations and deliver superior customer experiences, powered by a cloud native infrastructure.

oracleinte Click to Expand

The cloud provides banks with a multitude of unique benefits: the latest data management innovations, advancements in performance, high availability, reliability and single access across existing relational data and unstructured data from social, mobile, and IOT technologies. Additionally, moving to the cloud represents an opportunity to shift resources from maintenance to innovation.

However, Oracle understands that everyone's journey to the cloud is different. While the cloud provides undeniable benefits by reducing IT spend, accelerating innovation and increasing agility to support business transformation, data governance and residency requirements may prevent full adoption of the cloud – that's why even today, 2/3 of enterprise workloads remain on-premises.

Autonomous Database

With Oracle, it doesn't need to be one or the other. We are the only technology player to have our complete portfolio of public cloud services, including Autonomous Database and Oracle Fusion SaaS applications, available on-premises in your data center as Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer.

This means you get to choose which cloud services to run on-premises and which in the public cloud, giving you the cloud experience and benefits while retaining control of your data in a single, converged database.

Networking Hero

Choose from on-premises, public cloud, or a combination of both without sacrificing data governance.

Oracle Integration

Achieve architectural and operational identicality across deployment options to simplify management and movement of data and applications.

Achieve Architectural

Gain the cloud experience and benefits while retaining control of their data to meet data governance and residency regulations.

We Know Data
We know data

Oracle has a 42-year heritage in data management and databases—in fact, the majority of the planet's data resides in Oracle databases.

As a technology partner whose mission is to help people see data in new ways, discover insights and unlock endless possibilities, Oracle has the unique insights and capability to deliver the Data Advantage, because we understand data better than anyone else.


We understand Databreadth

We're the information company with the most complete stack and data capability in the world.


We develop your Datagility

We use open design and interoperability to ensure enterprise data can talk across your business all the time.


We drive true Datainnovation

We have the biggest investment in data and data automation-related innovations in the world.


We give you Datascale

We handle the largest data sets globally, at a scale of over 10bn transactions a day.


We drive true Dataknowledge

We are continually driving improvements based on the feedback from our large base of enterprise customers.


We give you more Datassurance

We have security at the CPU level to protect and accelerate your data power.


We make you Datamatic

We have the only true autonomous data capability to provide you with AI + Automation at speed.

Track Record

We have a proven track record

Oracle has played a vital role in helping incumbent and digital banks around the world transform their operations.


BBVA increased conversion rates by 30-40% with marketing campaigns generated through Oracle Machine Learning.

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Allied Bank

Allied Bank reduced its cost per transaction from $3-4 to just 40 cents with Oracle Banking Digital Experience.

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Radius Bank

Radius Bank saves millions in customers deposits and increases its Net Promoter Score by 20% with Oracle CX Service.

Learn More

ICICI Bank created an enterprise-wide view of risk to address increasing regulatory requirements and provide a risk-adjusted Performance view for investors using Oracle Financial Services Analytical Applications.

Learn More
Westpac Rationalized

Westpac rationalized 23 systems and created a single Customer Service Hub to gain a single view of customers across all Westpac brands and products with Oracle Banking Platform.


AsiaPay scaled beyond 40m transactions a year, and gained the ability to deliver personalized services and distinguish trade risks in real time with Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse.

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Moving into the future with Data Advantage

While the potential to gather, analyze and drive decisions based on vast quantities of complex customer and operational data provides enormous challenges, it also presents massive opportunities – for those with the Data Advantage.

The banks that will succeed will be the those with their data fundamentals sorted—gathering and processing data in a single converged database, with an infrastructure capable of driving flexible, responsive and future-proofed data management capabilities. Seizing the Data Advantage means a more trusted, more responsive bank whose data is unified across the business and simplified for analysis, innovation and insight-driven decision making.

But it is only with a strategic data partner capable of meeting these needs can you truly innovate, enhance, and accelerate your data strategy to move confidently into a data-powered future.