Many banks should be doing more to turn the wealth of information they have available on their customers into actionable insights, it has been stated.

Speaking to Network World, head of banking and financial services at IT consultancy Xavient Information systems Deanne Yamato-Tucker noted that these institutions now have access to a wide variety of data from consumer-facing products such as apps. However, few of these are effectively analysing this information.

As a result, they are failing to take advantage of new opportunities to re-invent their offerings, deliver higher levels of customer service and develop innovative new products.

By careful use of their customers' data, banks should be able to offer more specific, tailored services to consumers, with rates that are "based on a consumer's banking patterns, levels of deposits, spending patterns, web browsing history, social media information [and] geolocation data", Ms Yamato-Tucker stated.

She added that offerings such as biometric identification, loyalty programmes, savings schemes and interactive money management programmes can all be part of a personalised user experience.

Crucially, much of the data needed to make these innovations a reality is already being collected anyway, so banks would not even have to put in place extensive new information gathering processes in order to learn more about their customers. The key to success will be how they can harness this existing data.

In particular, financial services firms need to improve how they handle metadata in order to make the organisation and analysis of information easier.

"With the growing variety and increasing velocity of data, banks need to develop comprehensive metadata management and data governance processes," Ms Yamato-Tucker said. "One cannot share and understand data effectively, and in a meaningful way, without managing the metadata."

Almost every bank has now set up services such as online and mobile portals that allow users to create payments, transfer funds and check their statements wherever they are. This was described by Ms Yamato-Turner as the "first round" of banking innovation.

The second, she continued, will be "a ubiquitous customer experience, where the customer, and their devices, as a representation of the customer, is the centre of the mobile ecosystem."