“A lot of talk and not enough walk" from banks with consumer data consent

  • By Kate Weber

There is “a lot of talk and not enough walk” in banking when in comes to human centred design as open banking continues to raise questions around explicit consent around data usage.

Head of data strategy and transformation at the Bank of New Zealand, Sonya Crosby made this assessment at a recent SAS panel discussion in Sydney. 

“We need to actually explain the purpose for which their data is being used and make sure that we have explicit consent.

“When people understand the why and if the context is correct and is actually delivering a benefit to customers then that's half the problem solved.

“Then making sure that the clarity within the business is there. 

“If you just anticipating people will figure it out then you then you have people thinking in a thousand different directions." 

Crosby continued to stress the importance of banks creating a clear communication line between customers so they can provide informed consent and and not miss out on potential opportunities down the line. 

“Once people have opted out of sharing data, that’s it. You can’t go back to them, but they might go ‘hang on but I really wanted to know about this. 

“If you haven't thought about giving them optionality, you've lost them and they're complaining saying why don't you tell me about this.”

Customers are willing to provide data if they feel there are genuine benefits to them that help them achieve their financial goals Crosby said.

“What they want is for us to present to them exactly what they've been spending on for the last seven years and to show them the scenarios of how they could do things differently and still have their latte and have a home. 

“These sorts of things where the customer is involved in the conversation early and in the design is where they're very willing to give their data.”

However, more importantly consumers must feel their privacy is respected should they choose to opt out of data sharing. 

“The way it needs to be managed is all about transparency.

“This is the customer's data not our data,” Crosby said. 

Should a consumer truly not wish to share data then that must be respected according to Crosby, but making sure customers fully understand what they could potential miss out on is also an important part of data sharing.

Out with the old in with the new

According to Crosby, the Bank of New Zealand is already moving into new ways marketing data sharing as the industry makes moves into new territory. 

“We are phasing into open banking in New Zealand and part of the technical solution for that is the explicit consent and explanation of what data is being used for.

“There’s the old and the new. We're still working with old marketing games with static roles and blanket approvals.

“That's something the maturity of the industry needs to get away from and help ourselves using tech and using a different ways of thinking and a different mindset.” 

Data science and machine learning are just a few areas Crosby is looking into as the Banks of New Zealand moves forward. 

“We’re more into the machine learning, prescriptive diagnostic side rather than into the full-blown A.I, which Is often misunderstood in terms of its ability. 

“We have invested in data sciences and engineering and so we’re on our journey, but we’ve got a long way to go.”