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How KiwiBank upped approval rates for credit cards by 273% with location intelligence


By Awards Analyst | writer

December 6, 2022 | 6 min read

At The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising APAC 2022, OMD and Equifax won in the Most Effective Use of Data category for their KiwiBank entry. Here, we find out more about what went into this successful campaign.

Location data

OMD and Equifax's smart use of locatoin data won our judges over for this campaign

The brief

In 2021 the financial services sector was facing unprecedented challenges with the introduction of new CCCFA (Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act) legislation that impacted the ability to process and approve loan applications. These new guidelines added significant additional due diligence requirements and processes for all lenders, leading to bad experiences and frustration for consumers and backlogs for lending teams across the industry.

KiwiBank needed a solution to identify people with credit scores below the level required by regulation for approval to provide a better customer outcome by avoiding a decline, reducing processing times for staff, reducing media wastage and increasing the number of people joining them.

The idea

Using Equifax, OMD could create radius areas around specified locations down to 1km and then apply bid weightings to those areas. The challenge was how to match all the diverse data and then turn it into a custom set of 1km radius areas that could load into Search Ads 360 (SA360).

The solution was to use specialist geospatial analysis tools to identify areas with the highest density of people that did not meet KiwiBank’s credit card approval criteria. A range of data sources was used to develop a composite score based on a combination of bureau data including credit scores, defaults, hardship flags, and several other key data attributes to match the credit screening criteria.

Spatial clustering was then performed to identify ‘hot spots’ with the highest density of consumers that OMD did not want to target based on the composite score. From there the center points of the hot spots were identified and a right-sized radius was created for each that aligned as closely as possible. This created a set of zones with an overall footprint that blocked out more people OMD did not want to target than people they did.

With this broader level of targeting, the risk was excluding some good prospects, which could adversely affect our CTR & CPC and overall acquisition. The spatial analysis and optimization resulted in a plan that blocked only 20% of the adult population of NZ but blocked 85% of consumers that did not meet KiwiBank lending criteria.

OMD & Equifax tested various upload formats to find the limits of what would and wouldn't work best on the platform. The final result was an Excel bulk sheet of 200+ strategically placed locations with variable radius sizes and specific bid weightings that could be loaded and applied to the campaign.

The results

During the period that the Geo exclusion was implemented - the decline rate for credit card applications attributed to Search dropped by 21% compared to the aim of 10%. KiwiBank saw a 273% increase in its approval rate for new applications through paid search.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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