Risk ManagementThreat IntelligenceNatural Disaster Customer Care: The New Frontline for Banking

Customer service has long been a critical point of differentiation for many financial institutions worldwide, with millions of dollars being poured into the digital Customer Relationship Management transformations year after year.

As urbanization continues to push the population into living areas more prone to natural disasters (e.g. floodplains and bushland), customer care during natural disasters has accelerated from being a differentiator, to a critical ingredient to credit risk management.

As physical climate risk continues to deliver more extreme weather events globally, more households have experienced skyrocketing insurance premiums on the exposures that directly face their dwellings. The ultimate outcome for many is an uninsured property.

During the 2021 Flood Crisis in New South Wales, Australia, affected residents cited residential premium quotes of up to $30,000pa to access flood cover. Facing the recovery of an uninsured property loss caused by a natural disaster places extreme financial pressure on households, increasing the risk of a mortgage default.

This evolving situation has created a new wave of discussion in the financial services industry about improving the level of support required for residents that might be directly impacted by natural disaster events, including advanced warning of natural disasters.

Monitoring for natural disasters

In March 2021, Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) announced their launch of a new technology solution that could monitor for natural disasters in real-time. Planning to better anticipate the impacts of severe weather events may have on their consumers, this is the first move in the Australian banking circuit that has been made.

By collating a range of data from local emergency services and weather-monitoring agencies, CBA is now equipped to proactively contact their customers—identified by postcode—during and immediately after severe weather events to triage their need for support.

“Being able to anticipate our customers’ needs and contact them on the same day that a postcode is identified as being at risk from a substantial weather event is a game-changer.”

– Dr. Andrew McMullan, CBA, 2021

” For all other financial institutions to level the playing field with this level of customer care, the investment doesn’t have to be so significant. With platforms – like iluminr, now monitoring for and analyzing natural disasters in real-time, a turn-key solution is readily available across Australia, New Zealand, and the US.” says Marcus Vaughan of Catalyst Technologies.

Active threat intelligence and early warning systems

With every natural disaster, there are lead indicators that can be monitored to provide ample warning of a potential impact. So every moment an organization has to prepare – or prepare its customer base – against a natural disaster, can deliver the response time advantage required to mitigate the impacts from these events.

To add another layer of efficiency to response efforts, an active threat monitoring system should be overlaid with up-to-date consumer data. By integrating active threat monitoring tools with existing customer databases, financial institutions can geospatially organize and anticipate the potential impacts on their customers in each natural disaster zone.

This matching of customer data with live threat intelligence ensures that communications are relevant, up-to-date, and tailored to the event and region at hand. By empowering organizations with a customer centric approach to their natural disaster efforts and communications, companies worldwide can leverage existing technology to help recovery efforts and response.

Creating value through natural disaster threat intelligence

The banking industry is not alone in being able to create value for their customers through natural disaster threat monitoring. With the same technology readily available and applicable for healthcare teams and emergency admissions, local councils and their constituents, and not-for-profits preparing to offer community support, advance warning of incoming events has a benefit for every sector.

With climate risk continuing to rank as one of the highest threats expected on a global scale, it’s foreseeable that natural disaster threat monitoring will transition from a differentiating factor to an expectation in public and private communities.

To explore how your organization can leverage natural disaster threat monitoring and better support your people, customers, or constituents, get started for free with iluminr active threat intelligence.