Toronto Dominion Bank has developed highly individualized services that help its customers even tide over financial crises:
While Toronto Dominion Bank, or TD Bank as it is better known, is essentially a Canadian bank – the second largest in the country and headquartered in Toronto – it is selling itself as ‘America’s most convenient bank’ and has increasing presence in East Coast of the US. In fact, it is the 8th largest bank in the US in terms of deposits and 10th largest in terms of total assets. The bank highlights the fact that it is a data-driven bank and has made substantial investments in data systems and AI, especially to provide customer value. It has been designated as a global systemically important bank by the Financial Stability Board in 2019, has 85,000 employees and 26 million-plus customers. In the US, it serves more than 9 million customers with a network of more than 1200 offices.
The bank has, over the last 5 years, been focusing on transforming itself into a fintech company. It calculated that using Big Data, it could bring about a 50-fold reduction in cost. In addition, it can democratize access to the information it gathers and stores as part of its business. This in turn will help in areas like customer service interaction, transactions and data-driven insights.
USING CUSTOMER DATA
Accordingly, the bank has amassed a huge volume of customer data, which is stored in a single place – a data lake – for the bank’s staff to carry out analytics and obtain insights to facilitate offering customized banking services and products. It has its own AI division, called Layer 6, which has helped it to make use of AI in a most unconventional manner. The bank has been able to develop unique business use cases.
The bank knew that simply locating all of its information together is not sufficient. The data needs to be structured so that it can be located and accessed by those who need it and there are also issues like access rights and security. The data team at the bank broke down the essential information and created the metadata that is needed to be recorded to make the data useful. It also created suitable formats for loading the data into the data lake. This data included data on customer behavior, personal data such as their interests, and internal and external data, in both structured and unstructured forms.
One unique effort of the bank has been the convenience offered to customers to connect their financial information to more than 1400 third-party applications. This has been made possible by the bank collaborating with a US firm – Envestnet/Yodlee. A bank customer can ask the bank to transfer his financial data to Envestnet/Yodlee through APIs, removing the need to share their banking login ID or password.
PLANS FOR SAAS
The bank is now focusing resources to launch software-as-a-service, or SaaS, applications, intended to help people share documents and help the bank adopt agile development methods. It also wants to create a more positive culture surrounding the employees using SaaS by redesigning its workspaces to be more open, have less assigned seating and more team rooms. It has also set up labs in Communitech as well as in Cisco’s Toronto Innovation Lab for designing and testing new products.
Higher use of digital services means higher customer expectations and bigger challenges for any bank. This also means expectations by customers for more personalized experiences and financial advice. The bank’s strategy therefore is focused on empowering customers so that they become confident of using the digital channels. The bank has been using AI to create personalized and contextual advices to customers like balance alerts, or possibility of a customer obtaining the benefits of Government-run programs. Of course, usual notifications and payment of bills are part of this effort.
The bank had recently developed and deployed a virtual assistant within its U.S. mobile app, which uses conversational AI and provides information to customers about their finances. The bank has also developed a system whereby its customer care can identify issues that its customers face or are likely to face and alert them using a virtual assistant.
Almost 50% of the bank’s customers are digitally active today. It has also seen some 1 million customers enrolling for digital services – both new and existing – just after the pandemic began. Also, the bank has turned to be a financial advisor to its customers since the pandemic began as there was sustained demand for such a service. Customers have been increasingly interacting with the bank on financial matters through its AI-powered TD Clari chatbot and TD MySpend, a tool within the TD mobile app that helps customers track and categorize their purchases. It has been the experience of the bank that a customer more often than not wants to talk with an advisor for crucial decisions like buying a house or planning for retirement. And the bank has seized this opportunity to enhance the service by offering day-to-day, in-the-moment advice.
This article has been compiled based on publicly available information on the web, particularly the bank’s own website.