Accenture’s global Financial Services Consumer Study is based on a survey of 47,000 consumers in 28 markets. It found that more than half of consumers would share personal data for benefits. These include more-rapid loan approvals, discounts on gym memberships, and personalized offers based on current location.
At the same time, however, consumers believe that privacy is paramount. Three quarters (75 percent) said they are very cautious about the privacy of their personal data. In fact, data security breaches were the second-biggest concern for consumers, behind only increasing costs, when asked what would make them leave their bank or insurer.
“Consumers share personal data to make their lives easier. Now, this is extending to how we manage our personal finances,” said Piercarlo Gera, Accenture. “Although consumers want banks and insurers to use their data to play an active role in improving their lives, banks should tread cautiously. They should ensure they fully understand their customers by providing relevant, in-the-moment offers while continuing to safeguard consumer data. This is therefore a call for banks to see their customers as people with needs beyond their bank accounts.”
Consumers showed strong support for personalized insurance premiums; for example, 64 percent were interested in receiving adjusted car insurance premiums based on safe driving. Additionally, 52 percent would share personal data in exchange for life insurance premiums tied to a healthy lifestyle. 79 percent would provide personal data to their insurer if they believe it would help reduce the possibility of injury or loss. This includes income, location and lifestyle habits.
In banking, 81 percent of consumers would be willing to share income, location and lifestyle habit data for rapid loan approval. Additionally, 76 percent would do so to receive personalized offers based on their location, such as discounts from a retailer. 51 percent want their bank to provide updates on how much money they have until their next pay day. Furthermore, 57 percent want savings tips based on their spending habits.
“Financial firms have a huge responsibility to maintain their role as trusted custodians of data privacy,” said Bruce Holley, Accenture. “Banks and insurers that don’t seize the opportunity to build on this trust and improve customer experiences risk becoming lost in the plumbing of payments or compensating claims.”
Appetite for personal data sharing differs around the world
Appetite for sharing significant personal data with financial firms was highest in China; with 67 percent of consumers there willing to share more data for personalized services. Half of consumers in the U.S. said they were willing to share more data for personalized services. However, in Europe, where the GDPR took effect last year, consumers were more skeptical. For instance, only 40 percent of consumers in both the U.K. and Germany said they would willingly share more data with banks and insurers in return for personalization.
“In Europe, open banking regulations compel banks to share data with third parties. Customers are therefore much more reluctant to share their data,” Gera said. “We are still in the early stages of Europe’s burgeoning Open Banking revolution, and I expect consumer attitudes there to evolve as banks invest in and offer more relevant services.”