Business challenge

New regulations put a leading Australian bank’s account base at risk. Without a single-source, complete view of customers, it couldn’t anticipate and respond to their needs with personalized services.


The bank worked with IBM to implement a master data management (MDM) platform that consolidated customer data into a trusted single repository that includes analytics capabilities to drive insights.


Helps retain and grow account base

by providing a more reliable, accurate master record of customers

Simplifies and streamlines operations

with a single interface to help users more quickly find customer data

Enhances compliance management

by supporting adherence to open banking mandates

Business challenge story

New banking regulations increase competition

As part of Australia’s new Customer Data Right, recently enacted open banking mandates in the country are transforming the way Australian citizens interact with their financial institutions. Simply stated, the new regulations give consumers easier access to — and more control over — their financial data. For example, customers who aren’t satisfied with the products and services their banks offer can now quickly close and move their accounts to another financial institution.

Although the new regulations are empowering Australia’s banking customers to identify and access best-fit financial solutions, complying with the mandates presented challenges for the country’s banks. How could they protect their account bases when they often couldn’t predict when customers were unhappy enough with their banks’ services to take their business elsewhere? Stiff penalties for noncompliance added to the threat of losing customers: banks faced up to a USD 500,000 fine and possible incarceration for the most serious violations.

One of Australia’s largest banks had already made a strategic decision to interact with its customers in a more consumer-centric, proactive manner. The bank knew that personalizing customers’ experiences was critical to retaining and growing its account base. But achieving that goal depended on having a complete view of all its customers, which its MDM platform wasn’t providing.

The bank previously attempted to use MDM and data integration software to synchronize its customer records. But it wasn’t getting the performance or the enhancements required to effectively integrate, manage and analyze its customer data. Without this capability, the bank couldn’t deliver the personalized services demanded for client account retention.

As the date to comply with the new regulations drew closer, the bank realized it needed to act quickly to solve its customer data information challenges. Recognizing that becoming compliant-ready would also support its mission to better connect with and serve its customers in the digital age, the bank acted proactively. It immediately turned to IBM, a longtime, trusted service provider, to review and update its customer data management systems.

IBM’s toolset fit exactly what we were looking for to support our customer-centric initiatives.

Thomas Lucey, Managing Director, Master Data Management Strategist, TLC Intelligence Solutions

Transformation story

An infrastructure rebuild helps optimize MDM

The bank began working with IBM Lab Services in 2017 to help it prepare to comply with the new open banking regulations, which were to take effect in mid-2019. Initially, the IBM team conducted an evaluation of the client’s data management infrastructure and customer platform.

One of the bank’s biggest challenges was that it had multiple customer records scattered across more than 100 systems, making it impossible to know which records were accurate. This problem crippled the bank’s ability to have proactive conversations with customers because it couldn’t be sure it was providing the right offers to the right people.

But the bank needed to go beyond merely knowing whom its customers were. To ensure satisfying interactions with customers and anticipate products and services that would best serve their needs, it needed to develop a deeper, wider understanding of each customer. “In the past, we used MDM to simply identify who our customers were,” said bank consultant Thomas Lucey, Managing Director, Master Data Management Strategist, TLC Intelligent Solutions. “But now we need to know more about them, such as their account histories, stages of life and who their other household members are.”

The Lab Services team made several recommendations to help the client manage compliance with the new mandates. The bank green-lighted all the suggestions from the IBM team, which included an architectural redesign of its customer platform. Upon receiving the client’s approval, the IBM team immediately began laying a foundation upon which the bank’s new IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management platform could stand strong.

The first order of business for the Lab Services team was to upgrade the bank’s InfoSphere MDM software. The IBM team also upgraded the bank’s IBM InfoSphere Information Server platform to support data integration, quality and governance. The combination of both solutions provided the client with a solid infrastructure upon which the IBM team built a brand-new, next-generation customer platform.

IBM brought the deep technical expertise and long-term roadmap we needed to guide our evolution in the MDM space. Thanks to its expertise, we don’t have to be MDM experts to stay on track and get ahead in the MDM space.

Thomas Lucey, Managing Director, Master Data Management Strategist, TLC Intelligence Solutions

Results story

A golden record poised to unlock new possibilities

A new customer platform and upgraded MDM infrastructure helped the client manage its compliance with the new open banking mandates several months ahead of schedule. Now, when customers want to know what information the bank has about them, the bank can supply near-immediate answers. The IBM solution also brought the client closer to reaching its goal of supporting end-to-end digital services to help it better serve existing customers and attract new ones. Ultimately, its objective is to empower customers to initiate core banking transactions using a mobile app and to have virtually instant 2-way communication with the bank across all channels.

The client now has one trusted, well-defined source of information — a golden record — to inform its interactions with customers. “Developing a golden record that we can continually update will help us support our customers from graduation through retirement,” said Lucey. “And because we can more easily understand, govern, clean and prepare our customer data, we can trust its integrity. We expect our MDM solution to help make every interaction, across all channels, more memorable and pleasurable for our customers.”

The bank also expects its golden record to dramatically simplify and speed even basic operational functions, such as searching for all the information it holds on each customer. Employees will no longer have to consult up to six different systems to gain a complete customer view. Instead, a single interface will allow users to explore the full range of customers’ data to better serve their needs.

We can now use our more complete understanding of current customers’ needs and behaviors to help retain our account and to more easily attract new customers.

Thomas Lucey, Managing Director, Master Data Management Strategist, TLC Intelligence Solutions

Prominent bank in Australia

This client is a prominent bank in Australia.

Solution components

Take the Next Step

IBM DataOps capabilities help create a business-ready analytics foundation by providing market-leading technology that works together with AI-enabled automation, infused governance, and a powerful knowledge catalog to operationalize continuous, high-quality data across the business. Increase efficiency, data quality, findability and governing rules in order to provide an efficient, self-service data pipeline to the right people at the right time from any source. Learn more about DataOps at Follow us on Twitter at @IBMData, on our blog at and join the conversation #DataOps.