• 19 June 2020
  • Blog | Fintech and Innovation in Banking | Professionalism and Ethics | Blog

To unlock the potential of Open Banking and other opportunities, banks must convince customers to share their data. Trust is essential in this value exchange.

The future of banking relies on trust.


The role of the bank is no longer just about keeping money safe; they’ve become guardians of our data too.

New technologies, partnerships and data reforms such as Open Banking are bringing huge opportunities – including personalising the customer experience. But even when the customer benefits are clear, individuals are rightly wary of requests for sensitive information.

Before a customer shares their data, therefore, banks must work to earn their trust.

The service experience, whether delivered digitally or by a human, is a very important part of this. Quite simply: if I have a good experience, I’m more likely to trust you; if I receive a poor level of service, I won’t. And if I don’t trust you, I will be reluctant to give you any more of my information.

Our research at The Institute of Customer Service underlines that, when we trust an organisation, we share our data. But when we don’t trust a business, we withhold it – or even lie. That’s a major problem because the company starts to build an inaccurate picture of us and, consequently, we receive a service that is not tailored to our needs.

Believe me, this gets irritating very quickly.

One of the main reasons why we might give a company the wrong details in the first place is to avoid receiving notifications about unwanted products and services. To avoid this, organisations have to get much better at not trying to sell people things they don’t want – and, more generally – to meeting the needs of their customers.

These are all relationship issues which are not rooted in tech, but ‘do I trust this bank?’. The good news is that the banking sector has been responding. Across the industry, banks have been proactively raising awareness of new forms of fraud – as well as alerting people if they’ve about to get overdrawn, or a regular payment is going to be higher than normal.  However, there is a need to sound a note of some caution; how the banking sector conducts itself through the next phase of COVID-19 is critical.  

Now, more than ever, it is important to anticipate needs and to communicate with clarity, conviction and purpose.

Jo Causon is Chief Executive of The Institute of Customer Service. Hear more from Jo in the Spring 2020 issue of Chartered Banker magazine.