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Coding is the answer

Posted by Ste Bauman, 12 months ago

2 min read

In its most basic sense, coding is the communication between people and computers. Coding is used to develop websites, software, mobile applications, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Coding can also be used to speed up processes while reducing error, analyse data and measure risk.

Digitising our bank for colleagues and customers

Our Chief Information Officer, Scott Marcar, joined us at the end of last year, and reflected on his first few months here and the change he believes will help us serve our customers better.

‘I really wanted a role where I was helping the UK. “Purpose” features on lots of companies’ mission statements but I don’t think it always goes right through to each colleague. It’s different here.

‘The leadership team is aligned, which makes it effective. We have a clear strategy and it’s supported from the top. That gives us a compelling vision, and one that I know we’ll deliver. We’re also agile enough to adapt if need be.’

We must be great with technology

We need to match customer behaviour, and as our CEO, Alison Rose, has said, we need to “be where our customers are” in the digital landscape. ‘If we can become an even more productive and more agile technology led organisation then we can drive our strategy forward.

‘One opportunity I see is to have more colleagues that can code. Coding speeds up delivery, it brings an energy and pace that can match or beat our competitors, and it means that we can adapt quicker, transforming customer and colleague journeys fast. We were recently recognised with ‘Best Initiative’ at the Card and Payments Awards for the pace at which we were able to code and release new payments features – the first UK company in the finance industry to complete a live payment of this type.’

Coding influences many of our products and services

Our mortgages team released the first version of our new digital mortgages in December. ‘This was coded entirely by us in-house, and in the weeks since we’ve been able to rapidly release additional patches and upgrades, increasing the functionality for our customers. Having colleagues that have coding skills allows us to not only introduce new services, but to upgrade them constantly in response to customer need and behaviour. This simply wasn’t possible at speed before.’

Using the data we have about our customers

Our “Best Time to Call” model uses the data we have on how customers have interacted with us over the last six months to predict the best time for them to hear from us. ‘The model considers a customer’s inbound and outbound interactions across the bank, such as in the branch, digitally, and past calls. The results showed an uplift in conversation rates of up to 1.75%, which translates to an additional 3.3k conversations with customers each week. We’ll continue to monitor the model so that we can make continuous improvements.’ This is just one example of using data, and then refining a process so we can give a better service.

If I can get 65% of our technology organisation coding daily, then I’ll sleep well

It’s not too big a journey if you have the right mindset. ‘When I joined the industry in the early 90s, computer science wasn’t really a thing. It was a few folks in basements creating solutions. That’s no longer the case. Now there is no real situation where the tech doesn’t exist, it just needs to be applied, which is easier than creating it from scratch. And by re-engineering our processes, removing errors and introducing automation, I think it would help colleagues focus on the value-add work for customers. I believe this means we’re becoming a more appealing employer to prospective technology colleagues.’

Fancy trying your hand at coding? Have a look at our technology jobs today.

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