Making information flow – how can we create a world where data works for everyone?

Retail Financial Services

Retail Financial Services


Facilitated and written by: Cris Beswick, The Future Shapers
David Alexander, MydexOverview

One thing that resonated with the discussion group was that customers do not fit into traditional profiles anymore i.e. it’s not uncommon for a 60-year-old woman to be the mother of a young child whereas she would have previously been ‘profiled’ as a grandmother just because of her age. To this end the reference in the presentation ‘The Future Decoded’ by James Murray from Microsoft proved to be a great Segway.

 “There are 19 year old guys who watch dance moms and there are 73-year-old women who watch breaking bad!”

Todd Yellin, VP Product Innovation, Netflix

Headline finding 1:

On the whole there was group-wide recognition that most companies have big databases but don’t really know what’s in them. That makes it difficult to answer the question: How do we define ‘excellence in customer service delivery’ through understanding the data we have and have access to?

Headline finding 2:

The traditional approach to gathering data has been to overload the customer with questions and in essence gather too much data on the bases that if we’ve got everything then we shouldn’t be missing anything. However, we cannot continue asking customers of this generation or the next for too much data so need to focus on ‘reducing customer effort’.

“Customers just want to get stuff done. They crave ease of interaction”

David Alexander, Mydex

So, is data minimization required across the industry because in reality we probably hold too much data? We must minimize the data we hold so it’s the data we need in order to create/do the transactions we need to do.

Headline finding 3:

We need to question ‘why’ we need the data rather than asking customers to just ‘give us everything’. However, some sectors need to be careful not to streamline too much as the perception can also be that the provider isn’t asking enough questions. A personal health check is a prime example where not asking enough questions can make customers feel as through things aren’t as thorough as they should be.

Headline finding 4:

It was widely agreed that reducing customer effort means you’re more likely to win or retain more customers. David shared his thoughts on the ‘person centred design’ and that it needs to be used to create authenticity of dialogue with the customer and with it ‘low’ customer interaction effort.

One of the main topics that David floated was the subject of making consent easier/simpler but so the customer still understands the risk they are taking?

Headline finding 5:

People (customers) keep being asked to give information but they never get anything back. So, how can we make ‘everyone’s’ data portable so it’s easy to access for both parties?

Security goes both ways. Banks call customers and ask the customer to prove who they are but when the customer asks the bank to prove who ‘they’ are the banks default position is that it doesn’t have to prove it is who it claims to be.

Headline finding 6:

FS providers currently aren’t great at taking information effectively as they require cryptographic evidence i.e. utility bills etc. to verify the data of individuals. But, if a customer can give you ‘data’ in the most efficient format it reduces the issue/hassle for the customer and increases the efficiency of the supplier within the same risk assessment model. Adobe are currently doing a ‘digitally signed portable proof system’ so everything is portable. It lets individuals ‘accumulate’ their data/info wherever they go so they can use it every time they interact with a brand/supplier that requires proof of ID.

This not only serves up ‘data’ as evidence or proof of ID but because of its portability and accumulation, it also serves to provide proof of history of behavior i.e. does the person pay on time, are they trustworthy etc.

Summary of headline findings

1. Reduce customer effort

2. Make use of portable digital proof

3. Apply person centred design

4. Implement transparency & consent