26 October 2020 ... min read Listen

Sonja Baars

Contributing to the security of our customers, the bank and the entire sector

Thanks to her focus on the customer and desire to continuously improve efficiency, Sonja has been involved in a steady succession of interesting roles and projects. Since February 2020, she has been putting all of that experience to good use in her position as Customer Journey Expert (CJE) within Know Your Customer (KYC).

Sonja: “My previous role was in Daily Banking, so I was already used to the question of whether we should allow certain customers to open an account. I had a lot of contact with KYC in that position, so when I was asked whether I’d be interested in a role as a Customer Journey Expert I was immediately keen.”

Smooth processes

“My squad (team) sets up surveys so that we can gain the best possible insights into the consumers who bank with us. Those surveys help us to maximise the security of our banking activities and minimise our financial and economic risk. We want to make sure the processes run easily and smoothly for our (potential) customers and as efficiently as possible for the KYC analysts – by reducing the amount of administration they have to deal with, for example.”

Tangible

“‘Improving processes’ might sound a little abstract, but it translates into very tangible things, such as an automatic double-check with a customer in the case of an unusual cash withdrawal, for example: ‘We see that 500 euros have just been withdrawn from your account. Is that correct and was it you?’ So our work contributes to the security of our customers, of the bank and ultimately of the entire sector.”

In the customer’s shoes

“As a CJE you need to have very broad skills. You interact with many different areas within the bank, including a lot with Risk and Legal. It helps if you’re analytical and results-oriented. And you need to be flexible, because the world can change very quickly, as we’ve seen with the coronavirus crisis. But above all, you have to be able to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. After all, that’s who we’re doing it all for. It gives me great satisfaction when we’ve really been able to make something easier and more secure for our customers.”

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About Sonja

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in commercial economics, Sonja immediately started working in the mortgage department of Postbank, which later became ING. She has “two full-time jobs: one at ING, and one as a mother of two daughters”. Whenever possible, she does volunteer work at her daughters’ primary school to help children with learning difficulties. She finds it very rewarding to build a bond of trust and see the children flourish. If it ever becomes necessary, going into teaching is Sonja’s plan B.

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