Motivating customers to share their personal data

Motivating customers to share their personal data

As banks seek customer consent to access their private data, recent studies reveal what motivates consumers to disclose their personal information online.


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As banks seek customer consent to access their private data – in order to better target advice and relevant services – recent studies reveal what motivates consumers to disclose their personal information online. For banks, the key could be customizing the benefits of revealing personal information to customers’ specific desires and doubts.

Understanding the Benefits That Motivate Consumers

To understand the main benefits that motivate consumers to share their personal information online, KPMG compiled recent data from a variety of sources, and found that the public holds strong beliefs about only sharing data that could offer a clear benefit for themselves or society.

For example, a study of UK consumers revealed that they would give out personal information online if it could help the government better plan and deliver services, or prevent and detect crime, fraud or terrorism. Consumers were also partial to sharing information for tailored marketing purposes, or if it increased convenience or time saved while shopping.

Consumers Want to See Direct Value

Another study on global consumer attitudes on personal data also concluded that consumers are more inclined to share their data if they saw a direct value to themselves. However, it also noted that, when consumers think a company is likely to gain from their data, they are more likely to suspect that they will lose out in the deal. 

Consumers also struggle to understand more complex or technical benefits. For example, while most survey respondents saw a strong perceived benefit of sharing their data to receive better medical care or to lower energy consumption, far fewer appreciated the value of protecting their personal data from loss in a central data center.

In contrast, the same study found that more than half of consumers perceived strong or some benefits from sharing their information if they could save money or receive special offers. While this sounds promising, banks should keep in mind that slightly less than half of consumers felt there was little or no benefit of doing so.

Influence of Third Parties on Data Sharing

Another consideration: consumers were much more likely to share their personal information if it was used by the service provider only. Their willingness to share information plummeted if the personal data was to be shared with a third party or if consumers doubted that national data protection laws were stringent enough.

Further evidence of consumers’ appetite to share private data for the right benefit comes from the emerging field of consumer data platforms, such as Handshake, Enliken and CTRLio. Handshake, for instance, offers cash rewards to consumers who sign in and enter as many personal details as they choose. According to Handshake CEO Duncan White, an individual who is willing to spend the time and share the data on the platform could net on average between US$1,600-$8,000 per year.

As consumers spend more time online  – creating data-rich trails of insights into their preferences and needs – a picture is emerging of savvy individuals who understand the value of their private data and are ready to share it, for the right price. Those banks that learn how to motivate consumers to share their personal information can harvest a wealth of data to target and serve their customers better.


Author: Simon Jenkins, Customer and Growth, KPMG in the UK

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© 2017 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.

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