Data: BNP Paribas’ strategy

  • 21.01.2021

The banking and finance sectors are among those that produce and exchange the largest amount of data, a huge reservoir that offers an exciting perspective for analysis and application: improving the customer experience, making processes more fluid. However, the use of this data must occur within a standardized and secure framework, underpinned by a responsible and inclusive logic. This makes up a dual technological and ethical challenge that guides the Group's digital transformation.

An unavoidable strategic challenge for BNP Paribas

Banking and financial activities by their very nature generate a gigantic volume of information – or data. This is at the heart of the digital transformation strategy initiated by the Group several years ago and accelerated since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Its analysis allows us to draw several useful lessons for improving client services and the Group's operational efficiency.

Data is therefore an essential asset, in a context of increasingly rapid change in banking and finance. The rise of the tech giants as well as "pure players", especially 100% digital online banking, is pushing banks to rethink their processes and the experience they offer to customers.

This challenge is well understood by BNP Paribas, as Philippe Bordenave, the Group's Chief Operating Officer, points out: "Data only has value if it is contextualized and used in a timely manner (...) When properly analyzed and coupled with artificial intelligence techniques, it will enable us to improve our processes and our in-depth understanding of our customers, for an ever more adapted and fluid customer experience.”

A source of new services and new businesses

Understanding and exploiting data cannot be improvised. This is why new professions are emerging, such as data scientist and data analyst. They enable these data to be transformed into effective tools both internally – improving processes, facilitating numerous tasks, etc. – and externally – new competitive offers, new customer services, etc. – by permanently guaranteeing a high level of security and confidentiality of the data processed.

Internally, for example, BNP Paribas uses data to develop innovative artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, such as an internal Group search engine, called SEARCH, which brings together in a single place all the information and knowledge useful to employees, or an ultra-modern AI solution for processing human language in voice/text interactions, particularly in the context of quality and compliance controls for telemarketing sales.

These tools have been trained on internal data, which gives a much higher relevance of results than generic solutions formed only with public data.

Externally, the use of data enables the Group to expand the range of solutions it offers its customers. For example, Lyf Pay, a secure, free and interconnected mobile payment application, enables customers to access the services of numerous brands, retailers and even other banks, for a unique, richer and more personalized customer experience.

"To be attractive to customers, you have to be in an open universe,” explains Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of the BNP Paribas Group. “You cannot say to the customer, ‘You are entering the BNP Paribas universe with only the bank's offers, period.’ On the contrary, we must be able to provide service offers that are interconnected with others. In 10 years' time we will be even more of a technology company than we are today.”

Data, the sustainable economy accelerator

As a major player in the banking and finance sector, it is essential for BNP Paribas to be irreproachable in its data management in terms of security and responsibility. First, because an extremely large volume of sensitive and confidential data is exchanged every minute in France and internationally, which requires reinforced controls and protections. Second, because data can act as an accelerator for responsible transformation of the Group and the economy in general. A concrete example is the integration of environmental and social criteria into all Group processes, facilitated by the massive collection of ESG data.

Technology and data can and must be put at the service of a more responsible and inclusive economy, this is the conviction of BNP Paribas. This commitment is shared with the signatories of the Tech for Good Call and is also reflected in the initiatives deployed by the Group in favor of digital inclusion, such as the P-TECH program and our partnership with the Women's Forum.

"Technology at the service of people is undoubtedly one of the key challenges for a successful economic transition to a more sustainable and inclusive world," says Jean-Laurent Bonnafé.

“ THE BNP Paribas Group has embarked on an ambitious data strategy aimed at supporting the digital transformation of its businesses, with customer experience and positive impact at the heart of its concerns. We are particularly focused on the reliability and fluidity of data, which are two essential elements for conducting analyses and detecting opportunities, while ensuring compliance with our standards in terms of ethics, sustainability and security.

Rim Tehraoui

Group Chief Data Officer


Photo credit: ©Sfio Cracho

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