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How to use big data to your advantage

With 156 million active bank accounts in the UK, at an average of 2.8 accounts per account holder, there are a lot of opportunities to take learnings from consumers and their spending habits.

We discuss how big data can play a part in improving the banking experience for credit unions and building societies.

Use of big data in banking

Big data is a key method used by financial institutions to optimise the consumer experience and implement cost-effective practices internally.

The large volume of data can be organised through automation to identify patterns of behaviour in both internal and customer habits. Big data can allow decision makers of financial institutions to recognise the opportunities for growth, as well as reallocate resource to create efficient processes.

But big data doesn’t just have to be for big institutions; smaller institutions such as credit unions and building societies can also utilise the data to provide a better experience for their members.

Big data for small financial institutions

Big data is just as beneficial for smaller institutions as it is for large banks. While the data provided won’t necessarily be as tailored to the niche members of a credit union in comparison to internal data, the insights are invaluable and can be harnessed for improved internal and external experiences.

Finding big data trends in banking

Big data can result in overall cost savings, improving profitability of an institution and delivering more of what members want with less risk of decreased satisfaction.

Trend analysis in big data

By identifying positive and negative patterns, institutions can make informed decisions to make improvements.

For example, big data may show a large shift to online banking and paperless statements for account holders for both ease and eco-friendliness. As a result of this insight, smaller institutions can implement going paperless, greatly reducing costs and delivering on green initiatives as a business.

Insights may also allow higher conversion rates by upselling products. By identifying trends in user behaviour, for example an uplift in overdraft usage in January after the Christmas period, institutions can upsell Christmas saving plans in February as members have planning their finances well ahead at the top of their minds.

Sourcing big data

While larger institutions have large data sets at their disposal through their own internal software and huge customer database, small institutions are more reliant on external sources.

Maximising existing partnerships with customers by utilising the data they have to offer is a key way to take learnings that can be applied internally.


At Optimus Cards, our ecosystem of technologies are constantly evolving, applying big data learnings for small institutions, allowing them to grow and improve member experiences.

Get in touch to discuss how Optimus Cards can enhance your members’ financial experience.