One of the key findings of our 2019 Global Financial Services Consumer Study is that customers globally are more willing than ever to share their data – but only on the provision that they get something in return. At this point the ‘data for service’ trade-off is well engrained in customer behaviour; we all regularly share our data with the big technology players, generally in return for a cheaper or more personalised services. Our study found that 80% of customers were willing to share the data required for benefits like personalised offers or more efficient and intuitive services. In an era defined by an abundance of choice it makes sense that we would look for a trusted advisor, someone to lighten the mental burden of making all those decisions.

In the first blog post of this series we looked at trust in more detail. Trust again, is required for banks to secure the data needed to make increased personalisation possible. Our research indicates that customers already trust their bank twice as much as a social media company when it comes to looking after their data.

Personalisation should be seen as an opportunity to continue to build trust and provide transparency for customers – demonstrating that decisions are made not out of self-interest on the part of a bank but because they truly know and understand their customer. In Ireland, for SME borrowers, there is a sense that banks have lost contact with their customer base especially in light of branch closures and the changing nature of how credit is decisioned.

Irish banks may need to place special emphasis on communicating how personalisation and insights have been generated. Since the power of personalisation is driven by data, Irish banks should be careful that the digital competence of their customers or lack of access to broadband is not a hindrance to availing of new personalised services.

A good example of this is the work Bank of Ireland has been doing to merge online and offline data to drive personalisation.1 In that vein, Bank of Ireland has declared a desire to be the “Netflix of Banking” 2, leveraging data to “re-establish that personal touch and intimacy that has been challenged by the era of self-service and open banking.” RSA, via its subsidiary, has launched a personalised insurance product for younger drivers3  – by monitoring a customer’s driving style through a small box installed in the car, the company can provide better premiums to its younger drivers.

These examples are steps in the right direction and highlight the need for rich data-sets and the analytical skills to turn insight into action. Banks should quickly go beyond just pointing out facts, like a customer’s spending pattern, and move to genuinely personalised advice and offers.

If the results of the 2019 study are an indication of things to come, having the data and capability to define each customer as a “segment of one” rather than a one-size-fits-all approach will be key.

If you would like to understand more about our study’s findings, please get in touch.

Contributor: Brian Fitzgerald, Colm Rock and Conor Hayes


  1. Efma & Accenture,
  2. Silicon Republic, “Bank of Ireland prepares for the Netflix-style future of banking”, October 2018.
  3. Tech Buzz Ireland, “ Launches New Technology For Young Drivers”, January 2019.

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