Equa Bank provides personal and corporate banking services to ca. 450,000 clients in the Czech Republic. These services include current and savings accounts, multi-currency debit cards, mortgages, fixed-term deposits, consumer credits, insurance and business loans. Currently, Equa Bank has more than 50 business points in the Czech Republic.
In 2020, Equa Bank selected Enehano Solutions for a total replacement of its CMS for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
The previous campaign tool consisting of Unica Campaign, UBX and Acoustic (formerly WCA) did not allow the bank to follow current digital trends and business requirements.
The main problems included:
During implementation, we encountered challenges and issues specific to the banking environment, such as the adoption of cloud services in a regulated environment. We had to address user adoption issues and focus on getting the business processes right.
The previous solution used the bank's internal infrastructure. The data-handling application was custom-built for Equa Bank and all customer data was also stored internally. This solution complied with all legal regulations. The flip side were the costs associated with infrastructure management, further development and the speed of implementation of new features.
Data is stored on the bank's servers, managed by internal IT team and protected by a firewall. It was necessary to resolve the secure transfer of data from internal servers to the cloud, to ensure a smooth and error-free data flow.
Users need to evaluate the success of campaigns on a daily basis and create individual views on them. The solution had to enable the synchronization of data from the campaign tool to the data warehouse in minutes. In addition to the analytical view of the data, the bank also uses it to apply campaign contact policies.
The previous solution was connected to standard outbound channels – email, SMS, contact center and internet banking. It did not allow for building a unified user journey across marketing campaigns or support processes, such as client onboarding. It lacked integration to mobile app and mobile push. The original solution also lacked integration to digital marketing – Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
Like most companies that focus on digital channels, banking institutions need to react quickly and flexibly to the current market situation. This could be a change in the Czech National Bank interest rate or extremes in deferred installments, similar to the one experienced last year in relation to COVID-19. These requests need to be resolved within hours, days at most.
Unica on-premise solution was a standard box solution that had to be installed on internal infrastructure and then further managed. The software publisher did come out with new versions, patches and other enhancements, but these required additional installation on internal servers. This activity is operationally demanding. Each such update has to be approached as a small project, which entails additional development costs.
Thanks to the long-term cooperation between Equa Bank and Enehano Solutions, when Enehano delivered the original CMT (Campaign Management Tool) solution, we decided to implement the new CMT solution together. As a suitable successor to Unica IBM, UBX and Accoustic, Equa Bank opted for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The implementation was carried out as a "fix price" project, i.e., with a guaranteed scope of delivery, according to an agreed schedule and at a fixed price.
The implementation was planned for 8 months – during which a set of agreed requirements were implemented. The delivery itself was logically divided into 5 smaller logical units, which were gradually implemented. Due to the FTFP setup, the project was waterfall-delivered with agile elements such as daily statuses or splitting the work into user stories. Enehano worked closely with Equa Bank's internal IT department throughout the implementation. This was both in terms of deploying the middleware application in-house and for the implementation of the Marketing Cloud Mobile SDK for native push notifications.
During the course of the project, several technical limitations were identified on the part of the client or the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform itself that needed to be taken into account in the ongoing project. Due to various constraints, the original scope of the project was extended several times.
Throughout the implementation, the advantage of Salesforce's Multitenant solution was positively applied. This concept of pre-built features and additional services that can be used "out of the box" significantly reduced the deployment time and overall implementation costs of the project. At the same time, this concept allows for future updates to the platform with no visible impact to the user and their solution.
This was a very complicated project where we encountered a number of problems. For example, we changed the type of encryption of client data during the project, but we still managed to get all the bank's communication channels integrated and up and running within a year. After the project was successfully commissioned and users and administrators were trained, a service contract was signed for the new CMT (L3 support).
Equa Bank is committed to complying with the Czech National Bank’s (CNB) regulatory conditions. Data is stored on Salesforce servers and must comply with all the requirements prescribed by the regulator, national and European legislation, represented by CNB Decree No. 163/2014 Coll. on the performance of banking activities, EBA Recommendation on outsourcing to cloud providers (EBA/Rec/2017/03), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Act No. 365/2000 Coll. on public administration information systems.
To meet these requirements, we decided to use data encryption-et-rest. In practice, this means that the entire Salesforce database is encrypted. At the same time, we control access to the application as well as record audit information.
In terms of contact history, the main issues arising from the inconsistency of data from the previous solution and its Salesforce Marketing Cloud equivalent had to be addressed. Due to the high variability on the Marketing Cloud side, we performed data transformations. Now the bank syncs all the necessary data to the data warehouse in near real-time for further processing and reporting. This allows the bank to target marketing communications very precisely and select the right communication channel.
The main added value of the marketing tool for end users is a clear unified customer journey. It makes the entire communication process clearer and less likely to overwhelm the customer. At the same time, Salesforce Marketing Cloud can also use artificial intelligence to evaluate when is the right time to contact a customer or if they have been flooded, at a selected interval, with a large amount of commercial communication. This data is evaluated at the individual customer level, but also put in the context of the entire customer base for less active clients.
As a result, for example, there is a single onboarding journey that starts with the registration of the customer and then guides them through the onboarding steps. Through various communication channels, it introduces the customer to other products and responds to behavior in terms of reading the email, clicking through to the mobile app, etc. Thus, we combine emails, text messages and push notifications or banner in the app in a single journey.
The year was 2020 and an unprecedented pandemic was sweeping the world. Institutions had to adapt quickly to the new situation and conditions. One of the main challenges for banks was the ever-changing loan application process, where they needed to react quickly to market behavior. At the same time, they needed to communicate effectively with existing clients, update terms and conditions, etc.
The first wave caught the bank in the middle of the implementation cycle. This allowed us to identify what requirements were needed in such a case and subsequently adjust the solution to fit the new experience.
We've given campaign managers a user interface where they can automatically sync a data source from an internal database directly into Salesforce, and use it for segmentation and personalization in minutes.
We introduced and helped users configure customer journeys in which we respond with additional communication based on Equa Bank customer behavior. This ensures that information about new terms or products really reaches all customers, not just those who have a valid email address at the moment.
Thanks to the relatively little things in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud solution, such as an easily configurable environment for creating email, SMS or push templates, we were able to speed up the entire campaign deployment process and streamline communication to the end customer.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is, as the name suggests, a software-as-a-service cloud service that is continuously developed by Salesforce's internal development team. As a result, all Salesforce customers have access to updates (releases) three times a year. The releases are automated in the background so that you know a whole year in advance when each update will arrive and what functionality you can look forward to. These releases are non-invasive and are completely safe when following development best practices.
In practice, this means that the customer always has the same software as other Marketing Cloud users and the same features available at any one time. An example of such functionality that was introduced in Marketing Cloud at the beginning of 2021 is the native connection to Whatsapp.
All news is published regularly and several months in advance on the Salesforce portal. Customers are usually able to test and configure the new functionality themselves. Alternatively, we are happy to help customers if the new feature is more technical, such as discontinuing support for encryption of online communications.
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Equa Bank provides personal and corporate banking services to ca. 450,000 clients. These services include current and savings accounts, multi-currency debit cards, mortgages, fixed-term deposits, consumer credits, insurance and business loans. Currently, Equa Bank has more than 50 business points in the Czech Republic. In 2020, Equa Bank selected Enehano Solutions for a total replacement of its CMS for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Read Case Study