Winning the hearts and minds of the general public is likely to be an uphill struggle for the Open Banking community, based on public comments left on a recent BBC Open Banking article.
Of the 47 comments at the time of writing, I counted one that was pro-Open Banking.
Here are a selection of the comments;
“You'll soon have an app on your mobile which tells you how much you have in your account, how much you've left to pay on your mortgage and to which bitcoin address to send the ransom so as to have your mobile decrypted.”
“The Amount of hacking us going to increase and then who do we blame? our own bank? the others? Bank of England? the Government?”
“Can we not have "closed banking", where my financial information _isn't_shared with anyone else”
“My money is my money and I want to keep it that way. I am forced to share more and more of it with greedy and incompetent government that enjoys wasting it in front of my eyes, but share it with the entire financial sector? In your dreams, sweetie!”
“Banks nearly bankrupted the nation-Why would they think we trust them.”
“This will open your personal and financial information up to many rogues wanting to rip you off.”
With the first wave of banks launching Open Banking APIs on the 13th January, the comments show that the Open Banking community must work harder to promote benefits, help overcome security, privacy and exclusion fears and most importantly earn the trust
of an unwilling general public.
In my opinion the following would be a good start:
1) Better explain to the general public why Open Banking is a good thing.
As the eco-system is still forming, there is very little information or ‘poster-child’ examples of the expected consumer financial product innovation.
Like Sony and Microsoft successfully do with their games consoles, we must have a few killer and heavily promoted ‘apps’ lined up that will excite consumers and show them the potential benefits of the platform/ecosystem rather than worry about the mechanics.
2) Clearly explain how customer data is secured, protected and underwritten.
There is no doubt that the Open Banking ecosystem is open to abuse from hackers, scoundrels and corporations.
Therefore, for Open Banking to work it is essential that governments and regulators make it very clear to the general public how their interests will be protected and how those that abuse the system will be punished.
Most consumers aren’t interested in the mechanics, they want to know how they can stop their data from being abused and how they can gain compensation if they are hacked, de-frauded or excluded as a result of Open Banking.
Regulators must clearly spell out the measures they are putting in place.
3) Build trust and respect
The Financial Service industry has done it’s utmost in recent years to destroy consumer trust.
Most consumers view financial institutions as a necessary evil.
The mission of Open Banking is to put the consumer in control of their data and increase consumer choice.
By continually demonstrating to the general public this is actually happening the Open Banking ecosystem can start to build trust.
The Open Banking community must find ways to promote successes and deal effectively with failures.
You can read the BBC article and comments here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42553047.