The days of dropping by a local neighborhood branch to do your banking are practically over. With ATMs, online banking, mobile apps, and the ability to make check deposits straight from your phone, people have little reason to physically enter a bank and speak face-to-face with a teller. As personal interactions between customers and their banks decrease, so does the strength of the relationship. Segmint, a data-driven marketing technology company in Akron, Ohio, provides financial institutions with data analytics and marketing automation software to give them insights about their customers and help them establish a more personal relationship.
“Financial institutions today accumulate massive amounts of data from their customers which they use to look for fraud and other banking irregularities. But they’re not using it to address the growing separation between customers and these banks,” said Rob Heiser, co-founder and CEO of Segmint. “Retailers are doing it, Amazon presents users with relevant digital ads based on browsing behaviors, and it effectively drives sales. Why shouldn’t banks take a similar approach? Our software enables these institutions to embrace their customers in new, exciting ways with personalized offers based on their banking behavior.”
Segmint’s cloud-based software and intuitive algorithms process large batches of financial data obtained directly from banks or through third-party financial service providers. This data includes everything but personal identifiers; rather than a name linked to financial data, each customer is assigned an alpha-numeric identifier to maintain confidentiality. Segmint technology then assigns these accounts “Key Lifestyle Indicators” based on patterns in consumer spending, such as frequent trips to the golf course or regular investments in a college savings plan. These actions tell a story about the customer and can influence the bank’s communications and offerings.
“If you’ve made numerous auto repair payments, you might be considering purchasing a new vehicle—a good time for the bank to present you with auto loan options. If we see your kids are going to college, we might recommend presenting you with additional ways to leverage your home equity to help afford tuition,” said Heiser. “I purchase a significant amount of business travel on my personal credit card. A bank would be wise to understand that I’m a frequent traveler and offer me a credit card that rewards me for travel-related purchases. Every customer is different and banks shouldn’t treat each one the same.”
Heiser credits support from the entrepreneurial community in Ohio for helping the financial startup grow into an innovative company with some of the biggest partners in the industry, such as IBM, FIS and COCC. In the early stages of development, the company received funding and mentorship from the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE), a business incubator at Lorain County Community College. They participated in a business clinic at GLIDE that helped them refine the company’s broad initial focus and find success. Segmint also received funding from JumpStart, a northeast Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier, which helped them further develop their software and move to downtown Akron.
“I feel like we’re at the forefront of this industry. We’ve gotten a jump start on competitors and built a very useful product for financial institutions to more strongly appeal to their customers and help them make intelligent financial decisions,” said Heiser. “I graduated from Kent State University. I love this area. It helps that everyone—local corporations, entrepreneurial resources, you name it—are supportive and want to see you succeed. Akron’s been great to us, the state’s been great to us. Ohio Third Frontier has been great to us. We’re excited to see how far we can take Segmint.”