SEVENTY-TWO per cent of consumers in Thailand would be willing to share significant personal information, such as location data and lifestyle information, with their bank and insurer in exchange for cheaper products and services, a report has found.
More than 70 per cent of consumers also would share that data for benefits including more-rapid loan approvals, discounts on gym memberships and personalised offers based on based on current location, according the report, which is based on Accenture’s global Financial Services Consumer Study.
At the same time, however, people believe that privacy is paramount, with 83 per cent of respondents saying they are very cautious about the privacy of their personal data. Data security breaches were the biggest concern for consumers in Thailand, tied with increasing costs, when asked what would make them leave their bank or insurer.
The survey was done online in May and June last year, drawing on of 47,000 consumers in 28 markets. Respondents were required to have a bank account and an insurance policy and covered multiple generations and income levels.
Nontawat Poomchusri, country managing director and financial services practice lead for Accenture in Thailand, said that Thai consumers are very similar to many others in Asia in that regard.
“People here know there's value in their personal data, so that's why they agree to share it with banks and insurance firms, because they'll get faster loan approval or cheaper fees and services or similar benefits,” said Nontawat.
“They're willing to share that data, so long as they get something in return. They're very pragmatic in that sense. There’s a growing appetite in Thailand for personalisation of products and services based on targeted consumer financial data.
“The large number of people willing to share their data for more efficient services at better prices underscore the role of digital technologies in the distribution of financial services here.”
However, Nontawat said that with the growing concern about the safeguarding of this data, financial institutions need to make that a top priority as they look to address their customers’ evolving needs.
“If consumers don’t see the level of personalisation, offers and products they want from their banks or insurers, they will certainly look for it elsewhere,” he said.
Consumers showed strong support for personalised insurance premiums, with 87 per cent interested in receiving adjusted car insurance premiums based on safe driving and 73 per cent in exchange for life insurance premiums tied to a healthy lifestyle, the highest rates in the world for those options. The vast majority of consumers (95 per cent) would provide personal data, including income, location and lifestyle habits, to their insurer if they believe it would help reduce the possibility of injury or loss.
In banking, 94 per cent of consumers would be willing to share income, location and lifestyle habit data for rapid loan approval, and 93 per cent would do so to receive personalised offers based on their location, such as discounts from a retailer. Some 77 per cent of consumers want their bank to provide updates on how much money they have until their next pay day, and 78 per cent want savings tips based on their spending habits.
“Concerns over security in banking and finance are a big issue that’s front and centre on everyone's minds because of the recurring data breaches we see around the world,” said Nontawat. “Companies have spent billions of dollars to upgrade their cyber defences and improve their technology to prevent potential security issues, but we need to see this as an investment in peace of mind. It’s going to be an ongoing investment for everyone, not a one off, particularly as more and more of transactions move to digital finance.
Piyush Singh, a managing director at Accenture who leads its financial services practice in Asia-Pacific and Africa, said: “Thai consumers are willing to share significant personal data to improve their lives and get very targeted services and offers, more than many other people around the world, underscoring the huge opportunities for banks and insurers in the country.”
“The opportunities emerging in Thailand are huge, but banks and insurers also need to pay close attention to growing concerns about data privacy and security and make that a top priority as they invest in new technologies and digital services.”
The appetite for data sharing differs around the world.
Appetite for sharing significant personal data with financial firms was high in China and India, with 67 per cent and 69 per cent of consumers, respectively, willing to share more data for personalised services.
That rate was even higher in Southeast Asia, with 81 per cent of respondents in Indonesia and 74 per cent in Thailand saying the same.
Half of consumers in the US and only 42 per cent in Australia said they were willing to share more data for personalised services. In Europe, where the General Data Protection Regulation took effect in May, consumers were more sceptical. Only 40 per cent of consumers in both the UK and Germany said they would be willing to share more data with banks and insurers in return for personalised services.