The banking industry has seen accelerated transformation as digital offerings saturate the market, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. To stand out amongst the noise, Emirates NBD, Dubai’s government-owned bank and one of the largest banking institutions in the Middle East, created an award-winning lifestyle mobile experience that lets users bank safely and make everyday transactions in one place.

At Sitecore Symposium 2022, Ashish Bansal, Area Vice President for Digital Marketing Technology at Emirates NBD, shared that it is the company’s goal to go beyond the transactional, single-use mobile app consumers are used to and deliver a personalized digital experience that users could enjoy as part of their daily lives. Since launching the experience, Emirates NBD has already seen successes including a 78% increase in time spent in the app.

“We want to disrupt the market,” Ashish shared. “This is how we start thinking beyond digital experience.”

Introducing lifestyle banking

Emirates NBD’s Liv. banking app combines the security of traditional mobile banking with the benefits and features that comes with in-app access to a marketplace where users can find items they’re interested in and complete transactions, such as booking travel arrangements, purchasing movie tickets, and participating in other everyday deals. In-app features also include rewards, referrals, games, and helpful content in addition to shopping.

The Liv. mobile experience is fully digital enabling paperless records keeping, no branches or in-person requirements, instant account opening, customer loyalty programs, third-party offerings, and next generation of payment methods, such as blockchain and stocks. Its marketplace connects multiple vendors into its ecosystem, including social media, weather, food, entertainment, and more.

“We are giving all the experience, which our customers want from day-to-day and your data is secure; we are not passing this data to anywhere,” Ashish shared. “We want a seamless experience, we want to tie our customers to the stickiness of our brand, so whatever their need, they come to us, and we can provide the fulfillment of that special need.”

The framework behind Liv. banking

Emirates NBD’s mobile experience architecture is made of two core layers. The first is the main secured layer for the banking APIs and secured user data, such as money and banking transactions. The second layer has Sitecore and Microsoft Azure Cloud at the center, providing the digital experience and the content throughout. All the non-banking communications and third-party APIs, as well as other features such as notifications take place in this second layer architecture. Sitecore enables content management at scale, behind-the-scenes business logic such as tagging, and third-party integrations for a seamless content experience.

Amongst the products includes, Sitecore Experience Platform and Sitecore Experience Manager.

“We are not using Sitecore here only for the CMS, but we are using Sitecore as a middle tier system to make the app intelligent,” Ashish shared.

Liv. drives successful outcomes

Hyper-personalization in the lifestyle banking app is the secret sauce. Emirates NBD structured all of its mobile components into a bucketed system and established a hierarchy for providing the most value to the individual user while factoring in the business’s bottom line.

“Once you log in, whatever you want you see it based on your behavior, based on your habits, based on your transactional details. It's up,” Ashish shared.

The hyper-personalization experience combines the user’s data, such as age, affluence, and gender, with the user’s behavior, preferences, and location captured in the lifestyle experience app. For example, the mobile app tracks behavior based on the user’s clicks, assign engagement value, and will order its hierarchy on the user’s feed.

Since the digital transformation cycle launched two years ago, according to Ashish, the company has seen the following success:

  • 62% increase in user engagement
  • 42% increase in campaign response
  • 33% rise in new account opening
  • 78% increase in time spent in the app

Learn more about how Emirates NBD is leading innovation in banking.

Monica Lara is Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Sitecore. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.