Industry Case Study

Everything You Need to Know About Contextual Banking (With Case Studies)


Contextual Payments: Overview

In banking, the physical branch is no longer at the center of customer engagement. The center is the consumer. Contextual banking involves shifting to customer-centric models. These models use data to provide “personalized contextually relevant experiences.”

What is Contextual Banking

  • Contextual banking recognizes that, like other consumer behaviors related to mobile technology, banking is no longer an event that must be planned, but is a fluid, interactive activity that can take place anywhere and anytime.
  • This shift means new demands on the bank’s existing technology and data management. Banks must go beyond providing a mobile app and become partners in the context of customer’s lives. Adding value to the customer in any setting they choose needs to become the primary goal of a successful bank.
  • A recent study by Forrester found that while larger banks have upgraded and streamlined their transactional features in mobile environments, only three in eight have adequate content; only two “support external account aggregation; and none provide contextually, actionable financial advice as often advertised by executives.”
  • Contextual banking, therefore, requires an in-depth knowledge of the consumer where personalized experiences are integrated into the ongoing customer journey. In contextual banking, content and recommendations are based on consumers’ personal choices and even location.

How to achieve contextual banking

  • The success of contextual banking depends on data — how it is structured, how it is managed, what is accessed, what it is used for, and more. Banks cannot restrict themselves to their data but must look outside their data warehouses to enterprise-level data and even data outside their control. With customer permission, accessing and aggregating data become a key feature of customer service in contextual banking.
  • A comprehensive data strategy allows banks to provide the contextual recommendations their consumers want, “at the times and in the environments most appropriate for those customers to take actions that drive desirable outcomes.”
  • The ultimate goal is for banks to integrate their data strategies with many applications to provide not just a banking app, but a comprehensive customer experience platform that underpins an ecosystem of providers, services and end-users.
  • Ultimately, banks can integrate their data strategies with diverse applications to create not only another banking app but a different customer experience platform that supports an ecosystem of services, providers, and end-users.
  • The more experiences that banks provide on these platforms, the more customers become engaged and appreciate the relevancy of the bank’s products and services. As the experiences expand, banks can not only generate more revenue but get more customer data that can be leveraged to provide further personalization. This continuous business cycle strengthens the bank’s role in the financial needs of its customers.
  • The data strategy must also support digital marketing, which requires a clear understanding of how to optimize each stage of the sales funnel. Most customers are already comfortable looking for information on web sites. It now becomes important to be able to convert these inquiries into sales.
  • Leading banks are already using both first and third data, such as geospatial and browsing behavior, omnichannel campaigns, a robust marketing stack, and agile operating models. A North American institution with these elements deployed tripled their annual online product sales in one year.
  • Digitally native companies in other sectors such as ecommerce, entertainment, fashion, and travel have been successful in providing personalized experiences for their customers. So too must banking.
  • Individual customer data has exploded in recent years. Converting this data into relevant offers for consumers at the right time becomes the challenge. One example is providing location-specific offers at the moment the customer enters the coffee shop, the grocery store, or movie theater.

Why it is important

  • Customers want banking interactions that are simple, intuitive, and connected across physical and digital environments.
  • Even more importantly, a recent McKinsey analysis reported that banks with the best customer experiences had “meaningfully higher deposit growth over the past three years.”
  • This growth is coming from attracting new customers and by deepening their relationships with their current customer base.
  • Research has shown that highly satisfied customers are 2.5 times more likely to open new accounts or buy new products with their existing banks than customers who think their bank’s services are just OK. These satisfied customers are also less price-sensitive and more inclined to generate positive word of mouth.

Contextual Payments: Case Studies

Two case studies of banks implementing contextual banking are provided. The first is a B2C case study of DBS Digibank. The second is a B2B case study of an anonymous large US bank which implemented a contextual payment process for its corporate customers.

1. B2C Case Study — DBS Digibank

About DBS

  • DBS is one of the leading financial services group in Asia, with over $320B in assets and 280 branches across 18 markets.
  • DBS has spent the last three years deeply immersed in digital change, including leveraging big data, biometrics, and AI to make banking seamless and straightforward for its customers.



  • The tool DBS uses has “a combination of supervised and unsupervised learning strategies to tune and train statistical models.” It uses annotations to target and process new questions and answers required.
  • The system also uses the annotation tool to work with live subject matter experts to update the system continuously. The tool has a customer portal to allow staff to update questions and answers, taxonomy, and frequently asked questions content to improve the user experience continually.


2. B2B Case Study — iGTB Anonymous US Banking Client

About the Bank




Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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