META Finance discuss whether Personalised Services are delivered at a cost to personal Privacy

27 June marked the launch of our Privacy vs Personalisation breakfast series, with the first session focusing on the Wealth Management space.  We were joined by friends from across the sector to over breakfast explore how the world of personal data can be used to help deliver better outcomes to people without violating their rights to and sense of privacy.

Special thanks go to our guest speakers Julian Saunders and Sam Seaton, who provided some great insights from their own experience of engaging consumers in a way that they trust and also what’s needed to build a trusted enterprise platform for industry in this space.

Some of our main take-ways are listed below.

We’re hoping that the attendees will continue to use the META Finance community to raise ideas, meet new people and challenge us on how we accelerate the work being done by big business in this space and that others will join us in this quest over time. You can sign-up for updates by following this link

What were we trying to achieve?

  • Our mission at META Finance is to bring people together to discuss how to use data to deliver better consumer outcomes within Financial Services. We believe all firms, big and small, have a role to play here and our breakfasts act as a convening tool to progress the conversation
  • We aim to bring thought leaders together with representatives from established firms and start-ups, together with the META Finance Associates, to debate what we can better

Who presented?

  • Ben Leonard, Founder of META opened the discussion by opened by describing a past in which we have created products, marketed and sold them to customers, before collecting data about them during the ‘onboarding’ process.  He contrasted that with a world in which customers control their own data, and businesses shape products and services around them. This, he said, challenges organisations to view the recently introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) not as a regulatory burden, but as a commercial opportunity.
  • Vaughan Jenkins, also of META Finance, then discussed the tension between privacy and personalisation and how this has been driven by technology from its inception. After citing a number of examples, he concluded by asking whether GDPR would be enough to get customers to understand the risks and benefits of sharing their personal data, or whether the temptation of “free stuff” would always remain too great.
  • Julian Saunders, CEO of Port.IM, talked us through his experience concluding that the best way to create meaningful, data-rich relationships with customers is by providing them with a proposition that they value. He contrasted this with businesses who simply pay customers £5 for their personal data.
  • Sam Seaton, CEO of MoneyHub, talked us through how different customers responded very differently to different ‘nudges’ with which MoneyHub’s AI engine presents them on a scale from ‘brilliantly helpful’ to ‘creepy’.

What did we discuss?

  • Businesses still ‘protect’ customer data as ‘their asset’ instead of recognising that it belongs to the customer, and becomes more valuable when shared in a trust-based relationship.
  • Legacy incumbents face numerous challenges:
    • Legacy systems are not up to the job and expensive and difficult to change.
    • Legacy incumbents spend most, if not all of their change budgets trying to keep pace with the regulatory change, leaving little if any capacity to invest in finding ways to innovate by using data more effectively and to develop new propositions.
    • They don’t have enough sources of rich data to feed machine learning algorithms in any meaningful way.
  • Even early adopters like Google and Facebook struggle to get the information they really need – only the customer knows when they’ve bought that product they’ve been researching!
  • Increasingly, the winners are those who develop their products and services as open and connected players, instead of as closed environments. Think of Slack, who has almost completely supplanted Basecamp as the collaboration platform of choice, by enabling customers to connect Slack to just about anything else they are already using.

Some of the ideas to take forward?

  • We need to get the debate around data and privacy out of the IT and compliance departments and into the boardroom.
  • We need to reposition the discussion away from the cost of regulatory compliance with GDPR and the financial and reputational risks of getting it wrong towards the commercial opportunities for building more data-rich, trusting and value-adding relationships with customers.

What next?
META Finance will continue to host its breakfast discussions and build a community around this topic. We will also be looking to develop more concrete ways in which businesses can engage.

How can you help?

  • sign up for updates here
  • share your insights and experiences with us through our Contact Us Page 
  • help us help you…what could META Finance be doing to support your firms?