Sir: While Red Zebra Analytics’ online bank statement cashback loyalty scheme (‘retailers mine bank statements in trial,’ 6 July) is a good move, it is only scratching the surface of what could be achieved.
Since the integration of computer programmes in the 1960s, the bank statement has not changed much (although it may now appear in a digital inbox rather than come through the letter box). Yet marketers have never found a truly effective way to capitalise on the huge amount of data it contains.
Offering discounts on their own is too basic. Retail banks should provide recommendations based on the spending habits of similar people - for example a restaurant to visit on holiday that someone fitting a similar profile has been to, thereby offering the consumer a useful service.
Banks have always had access to this information but have never chiselled through enough layers to realise what a goldmine they are sitting on: a new marketing opportunity could potentially open up overnight. Provided that these recommendations stay relevant, this could be a breakthrough moment for the banking sector.
Will Beresford, strategy director, Beyond Analysis