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CO2 Tracking Through Transactional Analytics: The Data-Driven Sustainability Option

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Relevance, personalisation and customer-centricity are all buzzwords that are currently dominating the discussion about tomorrow’s banking world. And rightly so! In order to successfully shape digital transformation, a fundamentally new approach to customers is required. Today’s customers have evolving and increased expectations of services of all kinds, including services in the financial sector.

What is clear is that if established institutions don’t meet them, others will. New competitors have long since begun to do so. In the digital age, banks simply cannot afford to revolve around themselves. Instead, they must respond to consumers and their genuine needs, even going beyond conventional financial services, as recently argued in Accenture's banking blog.

This is precisely where the issue of sustainability comes into play. The climate issue is a matter of utmost urgency for all of us today, which is why consumers are attaching greater and greater importance to sustainable consumer behaviour. With data-driven CO2 tracking, banks are providing them with an incredibly effective sustainability tool. This way, institutions are achieving the goal of purpose-driven banking with customer-centric relevance. Banks act as an adviser and partner in everyday life – it’s certainly a promising concept, but how does it work in practice?

Banks as Competent Sustainability Advisers

The Open Banking paradigm forms the basis of CO2 tracking through transactional analytics. Third-party providers gain access to account information, categorise the transactions and evaluate them in terms of their impact on the climate using AI algorithms. It goes without saying that banks are the ideal partner for this, as they’re the ones that collect all the transaction data. After all, they accompany their customers through their entire lives, or at least as far as their finances are concerned.
And this now also applies to sustainability. Customers can get a daily updated overview of their carbon footprint at any time through analytics of all their purchasing decisions, enabling them to then adjust their behaviour in a timely and targeted manner. You can’t get much closer to customers than this – banks also increase their relevance and strengthen their interface.

Effective and Uncomplicated: Integrated Analytics Tools

The Swiss provider Contovista is also developing a CO2 tracking module as part of its Personal Finance Manager (PFM). This intelligent financial assistant is already implemented by many banks as a digital upgrade of their interface, offering expenditure planning, customer centricity through data analytics as well as a multi-banking option. This is now joined by the new Sustainability Tool, which can be used alongside the Contovista Enrichment Engine, but without the PFM if desired.

This allows bank customers to see what their carbon footprint is at a glance. It also shows how they compare to their peers or the Swiss average. Personal tips explain how customers can turn these insights into action. Positive reinforcements (“Well done!”) encourage implementation and set a positive tone for the often angst-ridden topic of climate change.

Sustainable Future Prospects

Other sustainable features will be added in time to come as well. One future use case involves specific options for carbon offsetting. Banks could allow customers to use the banking interface not only to plan their sustainable consumption behaviour; but also to independently perform sustainable actions, e.g. supporting reforestation projects inspired by current findings about their own carbon footprint.

There are many other use cases in addition to CO2 tracking and offsetting, such as analyses and tips for action regarding your water footprint – another sustainability issue with a high degree of urgency. Other exciting possibilities of adopting a data-driven approach include CO2 budgets, ESG quizzes or sustainable product tips.

Cooperation as the Key to Success

Many banks are reluctant to build up the corresponding capabilities in-house, not to mention the fact that this remains an unreasonable demand for most banks. However, working together with innovative technology providers makes the transition to purpose-driven baking a plug & play process. Contovista facilitates innovation for banks through easy-to-implement Open Banking applications.

As the Swiss market leader in data analytics and data quality, Contovista provides the data basis for tracking with the enrichment engine based on AI technology. After all, meaningful analytics are only possible if the transactions are categorised in a reliable, quick and efficient manner. The CO2 evaluation by the sustainability module is provided by the Swedish specialist Deedster. This pioneer in the field of climate data is very successful internationally and can boast of dozens of data sources in Switzerland. A calculator for the CO2 footprint and other applications are integrated into the Contovista offering via an API.

So it’s the best of both worlds, opening up a forward-looking technology partnership for effective purpose-driven banking for Swiss banks with the CO2 tracking module. Would you like to learn more about this easy-to-implement innovation option to ensure greater relevance with customers through the red-hot topic of sustainability? Our experts will be happy to share the latest updates with you. Get in touch now!

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