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November 7, 2011

Banking Giant Eyes Customer Behavior with SAS

Datanami Staff

ING Direct is one of the more vocal SAS customers, providing details about how it uses the company’s analytics and business intelligence software to handle a large number of internal processes. ING uses SAS for a range of analytics operations, including response modeling for their customer intelligence program and a range of their marketing campaigns.

Having an advanced analytics program in place is a priority for a company like ING Direct, which is an arm of ING that is focused on delivering banking solutions remotely (over the phone and on the web). The bank got its start almost a decade ago and is a major player in the online checking and saving account game as well as with online trading and investment platform.

Today ING Direct announced that it had selected SAS Business Intelligence to better analyze customer buying behavior. According to the head of sales and products at ING’s Italian arm, “Having a sketch of customer behavior is not enough anymore. SAS data mining helps us to analyze other necessary elements to understand trends and better target our marketing actions.”

Italy was a target market for this new use of SAS business intelligence for ING Direct. The country has relatively low user adoption of online banking, a problem that ING Direct is trying to solve by tapping into the patterns of customers in the region to lead to new online banking conversions.

SAS and ING Direct have had a long-term relationship. Back in 2006, ING Direct worked with a company called Python Predictions to develop a new software-based tool called the Proactive Targeting Framework. This package is based on SAS’ software and provides the bank with a way to predict customer behavior so the bank can make predictions about how particular customers might respond to a given product or offering, thus allowing them to tailor their messaging on an automated, individual customer-by-customer basis.

SAS has a rather extensive set of short case studies on its site, among which are a few related their work with ING and ING Direct. A quick scan through their entire database of customers with use cases shows that the company is widely used across financial services organizations, with particular success in the insurance and banking verticals.