Case Studies / A ‘Top 4 Bank’ Re-imagines Communication Powered by Personalisation

Synthesis provides the technological advantage that allows a South African ‘Top 4 Bank’ to deliver contextually relevant conversations to its customers, delivered at the right time and through the right channel.

It is estimated that a person sees 5,000 adverts a day and most of this content is unsolicited, ill-timed and inappropriate. Customers are overwhelmed by the volume of advertisements, emails and messages they are exposed to and have developed mental filters to block the influx of messages. But these mental filters mean the customer often misses out on valuable and relevant information.

With this in mind, the Bank sought to communicate the most contextually relevant conversations with its customers, through the most suitable mediums and at the optimum time, based on their personal requirements and preferences. Synthesis, with its history of innovation and expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), was the ideal candidate to partner with on the personalisation journey.


Mass, and even segmented communication does not meet customer requirements. This form of communication often leads to wasted interactions, non-responsive and costly conversations, lack of value leading to disengaged customers, lost opportunities and unnecessary costs.

Being one of Africa’s most progressive banks, it provides an extensive range of products and serves a diverse customer base in many markets. The challenge the Bank faced was how to engage with and communicate with customers without frustrating them. Their ambition was to avoid conventional mass communication techniques and to craft personalised messages that the customer would be happy to receive.

“We wanted a deep understanding of the customer’s context and to know which conversation was important to them at that specific moment. Relevant communication needs to be seamless, consistent and conducted through a convenient omnichannel experience”, says the Bank representative.


“The voice of the customer lies deeply embedded in the data and this is a voice eager to be heard,” explains the Bank representative.

Making use of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Synthesis began building a Personalisation Capability through services like AWS Pinpoint. The solution provided personalised interactions with customers through their preferred channel (eg. WhatsApp) at the time of their choice. A sample of credit customers was selected for a POC project and Synthesis began with data gathering and started creating a model for the Personalisation capability.


Personalisation was provided through real-time streaming, analytics and machine learning. This produced a successful Proof of Concept (POC) with all the desired outcomes. The strategy was executed successfully through new technology – developed by Synthesis and powered by AWS.

Successful delivery of this will demonstrate the art of delivering personal touches to customer engagements that will truly enhance the customer experience and improve product economics.

“Building personalisation will increase customer satisfaction, deliver tangible value to customers, and create a platform for valuable interaction. Inappropriate spending will be cut where only appropriate mediums will be used to communicate to customers.” says Jonathan Matus of Synthesis.

Following on from the POC, the roadmap for personalisation will be to build a hyperscale capability that will cater to the full customer base and to respond to a variety of events in real-time. The data models will be developed further to enable machine learning that drives continuous improvement.

The Bank will now focus on an omnichannel experience as opposed to a multichannel experience, benefiting both the bank and its customers.

Matus explains: “There is nothing worse than poorly timed phone calls and inappropriate messaging but there is also nothing better than the right timing for the right message based on your behaviour through mediums you want to be contacted through. It is quite a game-changer.”

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