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Banking on data

How Siam Commercial Bank reimagined data to drive value.

Call for change

Every day, banks generate terabytes of data—information from transactions, loan applications and more. Even a simple customer action, such as making a deposit at their local branch, creates a data point that banks can use to better understand customer needs and identify marketplace trends.

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), the third-largest bank in Thailand by asset size, wanted to unlock the value of its data to enhance experiences for consumers, optimize operations and fuel future growth. The bank’s main repository of data—its data warehouse—was hosted on premises and outdated technology, making it costly to manage, and was limited in its ability to scale. The lake also wasn’t equipped to handle new types of unstructured data. These lake limitations prevented the bank from using more advanced data analytics to derive key insights and drive decisions.

SCB wanted to be a pioneer amongst its peers and set out on an ongoing, multi-year transformation journey to jumpstart the business. At the heart of the project was the desire to use a constant stream of data-derived insights to reinvent its approach and customer experience.

When tech meets human ingenuity

SCB partnered with Accenture to develop and deliver an award-winning digital transformation strategy. The approach combined advanced data and analytics capabilities with people-focused processes and tools.

The first step was shoring up the data lake—migrating the bank's foundational data repository to Microsoft Azure Cloud, making SCB the first bank in the region to achieve this milestone.

The team also made data and analytics easier to access and use by deploying Microsoft Power BI to create interactive dashboards for several business areas. To improve ATM cash management, the team used artificial intelligence and a combination of advanced machine learning techniques to analyze more than 12 million transactional data points and more than 200 variables—such as locations, pay days, seasons and holidays—to determine optimal cash levels for each ATM.

Creating a data-driven culture takes more than just new technologies and analytics. It requires data governance and change management to help employees adapt to new ways of working. Creating a Data Governance Office, an Analytics Center of Excellence and a bank-wide data stewardship program helped implement clear guidelines for effective and secure use of data and analytics.

Now, marketers can access insights from this data on interactive Power BI dashboards to identify and craft personalized marketing messages for prospects based on their lifestyles, interests and financial needs. Also, automated underwriting risk tools reduce time to process loan applications.

A valuable difference

Having achieved impressive results with their digital transformation efforts, the International Data Corporation (IDC) recognized the team with its Information Visionary in Thailand award in 2019.

Replacing the old data lake and migrating the new lake to the cloud reduced the bank’s data storage costs, while enabling specific functions for retail banking to apply customer insights to serve their customized needs.

Automating daily forecasts for ATM cash management began producing savings within eight weeks from idea to execution and achieved 98.8% ATM service levels with 50% less cash balance. Reducing both the amount of cash in ATM circulation and delivery costs for ATM replenishment. Centralizing institutional knowledge also ensured that insights are retained within the bank to support knowledge retention and continuous improvement.

In addition, SCB’s innovative approach to increasing unsecured lending business is getting results. Data-driven digital marketing generated 10% more campaign responses and a 3x improvement on the model. Automation reduced manual processes by 40%, improved accuracy and accelerated loan approvals and processing, securing higher customer satisfaction while effectively managing risks.


Reduction in data storage due to compression techniques


Improvement to ATM service levels

We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with SCB on this award winning, strategic transformation journey over the years.

Joon Seong Lee / ASIAM, SEA & Innovation Lead, Strategy & Consulting