Segment-of-one personalization Part 2: USAA, RBC prevail

96% member retention. The highest net promoter scores in home insurance, auto insurance and banking over the last decade. 64% of members reporting that they’re “very satisfied” with the services received. These figures far exceed those of most insurers. What does USAA do differently to achieve this stellar track record?

USAA’s chief strategy officer reveals the organization is tailoring “to an audience of one,” adding, “The faster we can get to predicting what they need ahead of time is a big area of focus.” USAA provides  financial services to the men, women, and families involved with the military. Within this segment, it has managed to deliver exceptional member experiences by purportedly listening to members and constantly innovating to meet their needs.

At USAA, personalization begins the moment a member opens the mobile app. The interface isn’t very atypical, but the interface per member varies, replete with personalized landing pages that display tasks they do frequently. The products and services that members see on the mobile app reflect the products and services they utilize most from USAA.

USAA’s mobile app is one of the few apps within the financial services industry that provides an all-in-one, fully integrated consumer experience for banking and insurance, including property, auto, and life. It leverages the power of machine learning to provide integrated, personal insights and actions with visual upgrades, faster speeds on delivery as well as simplified, engaging messaging.

The app’s personal assistant EVA, remembers individual member needs and personalizes to prominently display solutions (e.g. letting members know their bill is past due, providing travel alerts, location-based catastrophe alerts and proactive, relevant life-event advice.) The predictive search function leverages natural language, allowing members to type or talk normally. 98% of transactions on the app are accessible with a couple of taps. With a current implementation of 120 use cases for personalized insights, the goal is to reach 200.

The takeaway: USAA’s keen focus on a niche audience of military families has helped it fulfil very specific customer needs. Insight into customers’ lives drives highly relevant communications, resulting in market leading customer retention.


In today’s competitive marketplace, customer experience is a differentiator. Research reveals 70% of buying experiences depend on how the customers feel they are treated. 89% of consumers stop doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. Personalized acquisition and retention experiences can increase policy holder conversion by up to 20%.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) launched AI-powered services to provide personalized financial guidance and an automated savings program. Branded NOMI – a play on “know me” – the service uses client data to deliver highly personalized experiences. NOMI Insights provides personalized, timely and relevant tips to help customers manage and control their day-to-day finances.

NOMI Insights learns as it interacts with customers and their data. The more it learns, the more accurate it becomes, including learning about what alerts they find valuable and letting them decline some alerts and request more of others. NOMI Find & Save is an automated savings service aimed at helping clients boost their savings. Based on predictive analysis of individual behavior and spending patterns, the solution enables RBC to provide clients with an effortless way to maximize savings, while ensuring that sufficient funds are available to cover future expenses.

For all their marketing spend, the majority of FIs have little inkling on when a consumer will need services, or individual policies they would be most interested in. This is a true lost opportunity, given that consumers are seeking personalized experiences. The challenge is that most banks and carriers are focused on tactical business goals (i.e. selling more products) than customer needs. Personalized interactions help deepen engagement and develop relationships with customers that is hard for competitors to emulate.

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