Should brokers “sign up” for open banking?

Malcolm Davidson

September 24, 2019

Malcolm Davidson (pictured) is director at UK Moneyman

Last week I attended the L&G Mortgage Club roadshow in Nottingham.

The panel Q&A’s are usually the highlight for me and with a focus on technology, the panelists were representatives from Smartr365, MBL and Twenty7Tec.

My question to the panel was “When banks are increasingly advising customers to be careful over who they share their data with, how can the broker community educate people to give them confidence in the security of open banking?”

Post-GDPR, I am sure we all worry much more when customers print out bank statements and hand them over to us and many of them still prefer to email their documents rather than upload to secure portals.

Phil Bailey from Twenty7Tec made an interesting point.

He reminded us that we routinely accept long-winded T&C’s these days on our phones without checking them.

A recent report from the Citizens Advice Bureau suggests as few as 1% of us actually read these things.

Is it a trust thing? Do we really trust online giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon so much we just go along with this?

Surely not – you only have to look at the highly relevant display ads on your phone to know data holders are doing strange things.

Even Experian suffered from a major hack a few years back with up to 15 million people potentially having their data exposed.

We wouldn’t sign a business contract without reading it, so why are our own consumer behaviours different?

Well, it’s highly likely it is simply because we want to continue to use the service on offer yet can’t be bothered to read the terms and conditions.

Bailey went on to suggest that if our customers trust us (which they do), then they are likely to trust the technology we recommend.

Over time, they will become more used to open banking and will perhaps one day be as willing to sign up to it as they are confident to put credit card details into a website.

If it’s quicker for them and recommended by us more people will use it.

So the answer to my question has to be that if we are to educate our clients about open banking, then firstly the broker community needs to educate itself about the security of the systems it recommends.

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