Consumers want banks to use big data, just don't access their social profile: Report

New Infosys report on engaging with digital consumers finds most Australians are willing to share certain types of personal information with banks, but don't want these institutions tapping into their social media data

Australian consumers want banks to use big data analytics to analyse their behaviour and alert them to security risks, but most don’t want their social media data tapped into by these institutions, a new report claims.

The Infosys global study, Engaging with Digital Consumers, polled 5000 consumers in five countries, including 1000 in Australia, to gauge customers views on providing private data to retail, banking and healthcare sector firms. All respondents had made an online purchase in the six weeks prior to being surveyed and owned a smartphone or tablet computer.

According to the research, 75 per cent of Australians are willing to share their email address with a bank, and 63 per cent will offer up their postcode, but just 11 per cent want banks accessing their social media profile information. In addition, only 12 per cent are for their bank analysing the types of investment accounts they hold with other financial institutions.

The social media figures were similar to those recorded in healthcare and retail – for example, only 13 per cent of respondents are willing to share social media profile information with retailers.

The Infosys research also found 72 per cent of consumers want bank account or transaction information sent via alerts to their mobile or smartphone, but just 21 per cent are willing to share information about the technology they own. While 88 per cent of Australians want banks to analyse their transaction data for security purposes, only half want personal information tapped for customised financial products and services. Just over half want banks to use social media and emails to provide valuable updates and insights.

Globally, the research also revealed 79 per cent of consumers would consider switching banks if they had proof their money and personal data would be safer.

Consumers were also asked what their perception of data mining was. While 35 per cent saw it as ‘helpful’ and 33 per cent said it was ‘convenient’, 39 per cent rated it ‘invasive’.

“Big Data is definitely already on the agenda for Australian banks, but this research poses some potential challenges when it comes to using this data for marketing purposes,” Infosys Asia-Pacific vice-president and head of financial services, Andrew Groth, commented.

“There is a clear privacy line that customers won’t cross, particularly with their social media profiles. Banks need to convince customers about the benefits of sharing information before they’ll be willing to divulge.”

On the retail side, 72 per cent of respondents said they did not feel online promotions or emails they received from retailers spoke to their personal interests and needs.

A similar percentage of consumers also said they are more likely to purchase from a retailer when provided with offers targeted to their location.

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