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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Most customers would swap personal data for cheap financial services

Nearly six in 10 consumers would share “significant personal information” with their bank and insurer in return for cheaper services and products, a worldwide survey has found.

Customers will share data for benefits ©Shutterstock
Customers will share data for benefits ©Shutterstock

And insurance customers are among the most keen, with four in five willing to share income, location and lifestyle data if it helps reduce the chance of injury or loss.

Almost two-thirds would be interested in personalised car insurance premiums based on safe driving, while more than half are keen on life insurance tied to healthy lifestyles.

“Financial firms have a huge responsibility to maintain their role as trusted custodians of data,” said, Bruce Holley, senior managing director at Accenture, which carried out the research.

“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.”

Around 47,000 consumers in 28 markets responded to Accenture’s survey, which found that China has the largest appetite for sharing personal data with financial firms.

A huge 67% of consumers in the country said they would be willing to share more data for personalised services, compared with 50% in the US, and 40% in the UK.

However, three-quarters of the total survey respondents said they are “very cautious” about the privacy of 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.

It was also found that more than half would share personal data for benefits like rapid loan approvals, gym discounts and personalised offers based on current locations.

"Consumers share data to make their lives easier, or more interconnected, and this is extending to how we manage our finances,” said Accenture senior managing director, Piercarlo Gera.

“Banks and insurers should tread cautiously, ensuring they fully understand their customers by providing relevant, in-the-moment offers while continuing to safeguard data.”

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