This week, Apple caused a stir for big tech and marketers as it announced its latest software update, iOS 14.5. The new update, as covered by WIRED, introduces Apple’s controls on the ways apps can track users, with consumers being asked to opt-in to allow apps they’ve downloaded to track their behaviour and activity, rather than forcing users to manually go through the process of opting out.

Data security has been a hot topic across the world as more and more companies get wrapped up in murky misuse cases, such as the Cambridge Analytics scandal that broke in 2018, and led to damning stats for social media giant, Facebook, as trust from its users dropped by 66% in the wake of the scandal.

Consumers are eager for more transparency and forward-thinking companies, such as Apple, are working to meet those expectations. According to EY’s 2020 study on consumer data privacy, data security remains of paramount importance to consumers with 63 percent stating the collection and storage of their data as the most important factor when choosing to share it with an organisation, followed by control over the data being shared (57%) and trust in the organisation the data is being shared with (51%).

But it would be short-sighted to assume consumers are not happy to share data in return for a personalised experience – particularly from retailers:

  • 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them
  • Up to 36% of shoppers say retailers need to do more to offer personalised experiences

It’s clear that consumers have an appetite for personalised offers in exchange for sharing their data – they just want it from an institution they trust. This is where banks can bite back and win in the personalisation space.

Banks have a legacy of trust among consumers. They are heavily regulated with robust governance and data privacy controls, and hold some of the most sensitive details about consumers, earning them top spot in a list of institutions consumers trust, and placing them above hospitals and government/government agencies in a recent study.

In addition, banks have powerful access to a wealth of data due to their direct relationships with both merchants and consumers, as well as a generous amount of digital face time with consumers, giving them ample opportunity to step into the world of loyalty offerings and other services. According to Mastercard research, consumers in the UK are more likely to have a banking app on their phone than a social media app, with usage increasing due to the closure of bank branches throughout Covid-19.

by Tim Joslyn, Co-Founder, Pollinate