Two-thirds of consumers in the UK say they won’t share their data

It doesn’t come as a surprise that some customers are reluctant to share personal financial information.

Two-thirds of consumers in the UK say they won’t share their data

After all, with cyber-attacks and data breaches being reported by many industries, the natural reaction is to circle the waggons, guard one’s data preciously and treat requests for data sharing carefully.

And then along comes the idea of open banking, which encourages customers to share information with third parties. To some, this might appear to be counter-intuitive – after all, isn’t guarding personal information jealously the best way to prevent data loss and identity theft? Surely, it cannot be surprising that some will be reticent to embrace this new form of banking.

But does this tell the full story? Open banking is a new idea. It will take time for the concept to take root and grow. The banking industry will be required to lead and educate their customers as to why open banking might be right for them. It’s not just about sharing data, but about allowing comparisons to be made between providers and products. If open banking works as is planned, and it enables customers with, say, large credit balances to find better paying accounts easily, or those with current account overdrafts to find cheaper borrowing quickly, perhaps attitudes will change.

Open banking will be a marathon, not a sprint. It will take time for customers to understand the concept, work out if it can benefit them personally and then balance the perceived opportunities against the risks. And, there constantly, will be the issue of data security and the ability of the banking industry to protect customers information fully. It is going to be an interesting race to watch.