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Customers must understand responsibility of data sharing under Open Banking – UKFI conference

  • 23/05/2018
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Customers must understand responsibility of data sharing under Open Banking – UKFI conference
Consumers must be educated in the potentially negative consequences of sharing data with third parties under Open Banking, RBS’ head of consumer products has warned.


Speaking on a panel debate at the UK Finance personal finance conference yesterday, Moray MacDonald said he was worried about some of the outcomes that could arise as customers take control of their data.

He questioned whether people yet understand the potential repercussions of sharing their data.

He said: “I’m an enthusiast for Open Banking, and data sharing – it will add to competition and make all of us better.”

But added: “The responsibility of landing with [customers] what their options are, and the consequences of sharing their data with third parties, that is a huge responsibility….

“We want customers to understand their choices – there could be great outcomes and there could also be difficult outcomes.”

Participants on the panel agreed it will be important to maintain trust with customers as technology changes and data sharing become more common.


Financial start-ups not a threat

Steve Smith, managing director of customer development and innovation at Lloyds Banking Group said there needs to be a debate around ‘free’ services, which then use customer data in advertising or other means to generate revenue.

He said that in the digital world customer expectations on service speed and convenience are rising – and where one company or industry makes a process easy, expectations rise across the board.

He added: “That’s what digital is doing, breaking down those silos in the way people think.”

However, MacDonald doesn’t believe financial start-ups are necessarily a threat to existing firms and businesses.

He said: “I don’t buy this narrative that the banking industry is a sitting duck for fintechs – they’re potential partners that we can enrich our customers with.”

There are also some consumer behaviours that will continue as technology changes, Murray added.

He said: “The things that are going to endure is trust…. I think customers are going to want to deal with [an entity] – whether it’s a bank or any other provider – that treats them right.”

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