Bank of America is working with Publicis Groupe's Epsilon to help serve targeted ads to financial customers in a post-cookie world.
With first party data becoming scarcer and more valuable due to privacy crackdowns by the likes of Google and Apple, banks and financial institutions are among the brands looking for ways to reach specific consumers when capabilities like cookie trackers become obsolete. But for financial companies, in particular, the sensitivities around data privacy are even greater.
So Bank of America is utilizing a modified version of Epsilon's ad identifier that doesn't require data to ever leave the bank. Epsilon says that because all personally identifiable information remains within the bank (along with the software that processes it), the solution complies with financial regulations. “Our identity solution, and the data enriching, it’s done within their environment, and that’s where the matching actually occurs,” says Joe Doran, chief product officer at Epsilon.
Epsilon's bank-oriented solution uses a modified version of their current ad identifier, CORE ID, which uses information like purchase data to create identities. Where normally, raw customer data is sent to Epsilon and then processed along with other purchase information into CORE IDs that can then be used to serve targeted ads, Epsilon’s bank-oriented solution puts the processing software within the bank’s data center itself, where the customer data lives. Epsilon’s software processes the customer data into a CORE ID from within the bank, and the bank can then send out only the CORE ID to advertisers, ad tech companies and publishers for ad targeting without having any customer data leave the bank. The method echoes the “clean room” concept, places where anonymized data can be used to create ad targeting sets and analyze consumer behavior without leaking the original data.
The solution, called the Epsilon Peoplecloud Customer PII Free, lets Bank of America “tap into an added layer of security that protects customer data but allows us to meticulously execute our marketing campaigns and perform analytics,” Meredith Verdone, chief marketing officer at Bank of America, said in a statement.
Epsilon says the bank-oriented solution can be deployed to other businesses that are particularly concerned about data privacy and security, like retailers, but says it expects such implementations to be the exception because of the security requirements. “Not every client has the same level of scrutiny or level of infrastructure for protecting consumer data,” says Doran.
Privacy experts say that banks have access to particularly valuable purchase information, and have high-quality first-party data through Know Your Customer rules. “If you talk to consumers, they aren’t frustrated with digital advertising, they’re frustrated with advertising that’s not relevant to them,” says Mark Wagman managing director at MediaLink. “Arguably, [bank information-based identities are] possibly the most relevant advertising possible today.”