Bank of Montreal – Personalized Offers with Unica Interact

Real-time, cross-channel, integrated offers and recommendations for digital marketing.


The Bank of Montreal (BMO) is Canada’s oldest bank, one of the top large banks in Canada, and one of the top eight banks in North America. BMO offers services in three areas: personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. BMO employs Unica as a central component of its marketing platform, due to Unica’s exceptional capability to scale to large numbers of tactics and contacts. BMO uses Unica for inbound and outbound selection, segmentation, and personalization, as well as for campaign management. The organization has been a pioneer in implementing an integrated marketing platform and leads the market by continually evolving its modern technology ecosystem.

Emphasizing technological innovation and agility, BMO decided to expand cross-channel journeys by adding ATM and online banking as marketing conduits in order to improve customer experience, increase relevance in communications, and accelerate revenue growth.

Unica Interact, the next-best-offer and real-time personalization engine for the inbound marketing channels, needed to be configured for the additional channels and optimized to scale accordingly. The bank looked for a partner with deep technical expertise with real-time personalization and recommendations to implement according to strict functional and technical requirements.


Building on our long-term relationship as a trusted advisor and technology partner, BMO selected Transiris to implement the integration of the two additional channels for personalized offers and recommendations in real time.

The two additional channels, ATM and online banking, are two of the most utilized operational channels (millions of interactions daily) and are tightly connected to core banking data. To enable them as real-time marketing channels, the project focused on:

  • Configuring Interact for the new complexity (configuration, data, business rules, scaling to new hardware, data and API optimization, protocol architecture, business fit)
  • Developing and deploying extremely performant custom code (to the microsecond)
  • Redesigning the existing architecture (especially the load balancer) to adapt to the increased volume of data, the additional security layers, and the system performance in real-time

A team of platform architects, software developers, data engineers, marketers, project managers, security specialists, and testers consisting of Transiris subject matter experts and BMO staff was assembled, deployed, and continuously adapted to the needs and evolution of the project.

Over two quarters – and in record time – our BMO and Transiris hybrid teams completed the solution design and re-architecture, custom code development, Unica Interact configuration and scaling, infrastructure scaling, modeling of the new data, system performance tuning and security improvements. Change management and training was also led by Transiris.

As a pilot for the newly implemented cross-channel infrastructure, we also devised and deployed a new inbound campaign using real-time personalization for BMO’s Indigo gift/credit card. We designed and delivered segmentation, marcom strategy, placement, A/B testing, modeling and measurements. This campaign serves as a template for future real-time personalized offers and recommendations tactics.


The implementation of this project enabled the existing set of offers to be placed and personalized on the two additional channels: ATM and home banking. Customer experience has been enhanced, especially through consistency across channels and the capability of journey continuation in an omni-channel eco-system. This also leveraged existing infrastructure increasing exposure of existing, vetted offers without the need for additional creative, legal, and technical effort/budget.

Marketers gained a new tool for comprehensive cross-channel tactics aided by statistical modeling and machine learning to increase conversion rates, especially for tiered and high-profile banking products. The consolidated and integrated approach also saved duplication and allowed redeployment of operational budgets in higher value tactics.

The new features increased the number of unique new real-time marketing interactions by 23% in the 6 months following release, which generated a sizable revenue growth year over year. It also reconfirmed BMO as the leader in Digital Transformation among the North American financial institutions, with positive image enhancements in the press and among personal and commercial consumers.

Quarters record-fast project completion
Increase in real-time customer interactions
Revenue growth year-over-year