Customer data sharing relies on trust

15th Feb 2016

Building trust is key if banks are to share their customer data to help consumers compare products and services, Jo Causon, the Institute of Customer Service’s chief executive, has warned. 

The Open Banking Working Group, which reviewed the sector last year, has called for banks to ensure information about their products and customers can be easily accessed by comparison sites and consumers. 

The move would open up access to customer data and would be supported by robust security measures. It is hoped that greater transparency will encourage increased competition within the sector, which is currently dominated by the ‘Big Four’: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland. 

Causon believes customers are seeking more personalised, authentic and relevant experiences, but notes that the data required to help generate such experiences can only be obtained if customers trust the organisations in question. “The concept of ‘one-size-fits-all’ is outdated, but delivering greater personalisation is no easy feat,” she says. “The key to creating a unique, individualised, experience lies in understanding customer behaviour and priorities. 

“Yet the difficulty is extracting meaningful data in the first place – and that means building trust so customers are willing to share information about their habits and needs,” she adds. “Unless they can demonstrate that data is secure, customers will be unwilling to share, and organisations will remain caught in a cycle where they can’t deliver exactly what customers want because consumers won’t feel comfortable telling them.”

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