We explain how we develop and apply our technological innovations at Santander to make our customers' lives easier.

Artificial intelligence is related to building smart machines that are capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as reasoning, learning, creativity and the capacity to plan. It allows technology systems to perceive their environment, interact with it, solve problems and act with a specific goal: the machine receives data, processes it and responds to such data.

Systems developed with artificial intelligence can adapt their behaviour in some cases, analyse the effects of previous actions and work on their own.

Santander Spain has applied artificial intelligence to manage large volumes of customer data, creating analytical and predictive patterns that can benefit them in the near future. With a series of previously identified habits, Santander uses its digital channels to send recommendations to customers, helping them manage their finances. An example is predictive push notifications, which are used to inform customers about upcoming activity, transactions or bills.

"This technology allows us to provide a personalised service to our customers via digital channels. It allows us to send messages that add value to their financial situation and which help them manage their finances. For example, informing them about a car insurance bill charged at the end of the month, which will overdraft their account because of their spending habits", explained Humberto Domínguez Rivas, member of the Innovation team at Santander Spain.

Almost 5 million digital customers of Santander Spain have already benefitted from this new feature. It has also aroused great interest and been received well by users: the queries about future events were in the top three of the queries submitted via the bank's digital channels. In addition, customers gave a score of 4.7 out of 5 to the quality of the notifications.

Predictive push notifications are already being used by customers in the United Kingdom and Brazil is working on its systems to launch them soon.

"My subscriptions": all of your expenses in a single section

"My subscriptions" is another new feature offered to Santander Spain's customers that involves the application of artificial intelligence, which offers information to customers about their subscriptions and recurrent payments in a single section.

Moreover, the tool provides information to the bank about its customers' transactions associated with subscriptions and recurring payments made with their cards. By analysing this information, the bank can understand better its customers, anticipate their needs and improve their experience.

For example, "a customer with different subscriptions to similar services, such as Netflix, Amazon and HBO, can receive notifications about these services so they can take their own decisions when managing their finances, reduce their expenses, etc.", highlighted Humberto.  

Man relaxing in the sunlight texting on mobile in his patio.

Next steps

Santander Spain will continue to work in the upcoming months to delve into the self-driven finance concept with its customers, in other words, providing them with simple tools they can use to get a grasp of their financial situation and understand the future impact of their current decisions.

"We have many great ideas. We would like to develop these projects with automatic subscription registrations and cancellations, like a "marketplace" of subscriptions for all customers", added Humberto. 

Global recognition

At the end of last year, Santander Spain was recognised in two categories of the EFMA Accenture Awards 2021 for its innovative projects: "Reimagining the customer experience", after rolling out different features for its new app, and "Artificial intelligence and advanced analytics", for its capacity to manage large volumes of data and create predictive patterns that can help customers. Santander Spain was recognised in these awards with another 816 projects of 300 institutions from 73 different countries.

By reimagining the customer experience, Santander has developed new features, tools, products and services for the app's users, in addition to personalising and adapting the application to each user, according to their needs. For example, customers can create a piggy bank, establishing personalised goals, terms and rules for their savings.

Almost 5 million digital customers of Santander Spain have already benefitted from the features of the new app. 

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