3 Jun

Reimagining Travelex: Unlocking Millions in Revenue with Cloud Data Platform Transformation

Tom Jenkin

Key Facts

  • Driving higher customer transactions: increasing Travelex Card reloads 2x to 4x, and unlocking 6-8x greater lifetime customer value from card customers, unleashing £Millions in revenue.
  • Transforming the business from a traditional cash exchange to a customer-centric model for sustainable growth.

Founded in 1976, Travelex is a leading specialist in foreign exchange, boasting a 47-year legacy of building a trusted brand and extensive market presence. With a global retail footprint spanning over 20 countries and 600 stores in major airports, transport hubs, shopping malls, high streets, supermarkets, and city centres, plus providing a range of wholesale activities to central banks - the opportunity for data-driven transformation was enormous.

Pandemic Recovery and Customer Behaviour

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the travel industry, Travelex’s brand was underperforming. It wanted to recover as a new business armed with data to make more informed decisions at the benefit of its customers, offering enhancements to both digital and in-person experiences.

Faced with changing customer behaviours, multi-currency neo-banks, and a cost-of-living crisis affecting customers, Travelex desired to leverage data to more deeply understand its business and customers, address unmet or underserved customer needs, and provide insights that may lead to development of new products and services.

Travelex wanted to shift from transactional interactions, to a lifetime value-generating business. By utilising the wealth of customer, transactional, and behavioural data available, Travelex needed to drive new insights, revenue growth, and operational efficiency. The need to reimagine how Travelex operated was pressing, especially considering that 90% of transactions currently occur in-store.

"The challenge I have is getting our colleagues who are brilliant looking after our customers, to realise how they can use data." Richard Wazacz, CEO, Travelex

Data Platform Capabilities to Better Understand Customers

To help Travelex gain a better understanding of its customers, we took a three-pronged approach.

Foundational Cloud Data Platform Built on AWS

We implemented a new cloud data platform on AWS, and enabled the migration of data from legacy systems to the Cloud Data Platform (CDP). By establishing the foundations of a modern, federated data governance capability within the organisation, together we unlocked business value through a use case-driven approach to AI/ML adoption.

With higher quality data more accessible, we made near real-time performance reporting possible, so teams could make data-driven decisions and access analysis for understanding customer behaviours and transactions.

All of this greatly upskilled and empowered Travelex colleagues in areas such as data science, analytics, and segmentation.

"We have more cards being sold, we are more confident that our stores are manned and located in the right place, that when we do our monthly business reviews, colleagues are now using data to come up with hypotheses to test and explain what behaviours they’re seeing in customers. Those are the things that I'm seeing." Richard Wazacz, CEO, Travelex

Retail Store Performance Dashboards

We transitioned from monthly batch reporting to 15-minute updates from global retail stores using this new data capability.

With operational dashboards built by Mesh-AI, Travelex could gain real-world insights into airport and retail store activities, monitor customer product sales, and inform business operations and future planning.

Travelex Money Card Reloads and Customer Touchpoint Activations

Over a 12-week period, we shifted from limited customer knowledge to implementing customer segmentation, outbound communication campaigns, and measuring observable changes in customer behaviours or transactions.

This meant Travelex was able to analyse the impact of marketing, sales, and optimisation initiatives on Travelex Money Card (TMC) registrations. Integrating Cardholder personally identifiable data into Travelex systems for the first time led to a deeper understanding of customers.

New Insights to Improve Customer Response and Unlock Value

"I welcome that injection of DNA, that capability, that support. Customers will generally want to work with you because they recognise that you're trying to help them long term and sustainably." Richard Wazacz, CEO, Travelex

Customer Engagement Enhancement: This strategic shift has deepened customer engagement, resulting in double the number of Money Card reloads by customers. This evolution is expected to result in a 6-8x greater lifetime customer value from card customers compared to cash-only customers.

Unlocking Business Insights: The collaboration has unlocked the potential for discovering previously unknown insights within Travelex's operations. These insights, once unearthed, have the potential to inform and shape future product and service offerings, providing Travelex with a competitive edge in a dynamic market.

Substantial Revenue Boost: Mesh-AI's targeted efforts in increasing the average number of Travelex Money Card reloads from 2x to 4x are forecasted to drive a noteworthy annual revenue boost of £Millions. This strategic initiative not only enhances transaction size per customer but also positions Travelex for sustained financial success and market competitiveness.

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