Customer data: banks try to catch up with Gafa

For a long time, banks were unable to exploit their customers' data, mainly for regulatory reasons. While the tech giants were quick to transform this data into new opportunities, banks are now starting to catch up, and are trying to differentiate themselves from the services offered by the Gafa.

Use customer data in a confidential manner

Having long left the field open to the Gafa, banks are gradually beginning to offer new services based on their customers' personal data. These services are intended to be innovative, but also respectful of consumer privacy.

For the time being, the banks' ambitions remain measured, the aim being above all to get customers used to these new uses. La Banque Postale, for example, offers customers the opportunity to calculate their carbon footprint via the service provider Carbo, as do Crédit Mutuel Arkéa and Hello Bank with the start-up Greenly.

Banks have also understood the value of account aggregators like Linxo, acquired by Crédit Agricole in 2020, or Tink, in partnership with BNP Paribas: they enable customers to view all their bank accounts on a single interface to simplify money management and optimize their budget.

In partnership with the fintech Papernest, BNP Paribas has launched a new service enabling customers to find out about cheaper offers on the market for each of their subscriptions (electricity, internet, telephone, etc.).

A different approach from the Gafa

When it comes to exploiting data, banks have to tread carefully and deal with certain constraints.

First and foremost, they are subject to compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which notably requires the " free, specific, informed and unambiguous " consent of customers before their personal data can be processed.

Moreover, banks are still perceived today as trusted third parties to whom customers entrust their savings for safekeeping. It can therefore be difficult to reconcile this image with the concept of data circulation and the processing of information relating to customers' private lives.

Each bank proceeds differently to exploit data in compliance with confidentiality and regulatory requirements, but they all try to distance themselves from the Gafa's often offensive approach.

Up to now, banks have mainly been legally obliged to provide customer data to other players to encourage competition, as required by the European Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which introduced the notion ofopen banking.

Updates to this text are planned, notably so that the banking sector can receive data from external players in the same way as it provides them.

Payment data may no longer be the only data to be shared between these different players: data linked to household savings, which are highly coveted, should also be concerned.