Dutch banks told to stop using payments data for personalised marketing

Dutch banks told to stop using payments data for personalised marketing

Dutch banks have been told to stop using their customers' payments data for the purposes of personalised direct marketing.

Last month ING said that it planned to start using transaction data to send its customers more relevant email and text message offers.

The plan drew complaints from privacy advocates, prompting the Dutch Data Protection Authority to write to the Dutch Banking Authority making it clear that banks are "not allowed" to simply send their customers personalised offers based on payment details.

Says the authority's board member Katja Mur: "Payment data gives a complete picture of someone's life: what do you spend your money on, which associations do you belong to, who do you associate with, which patterns are visible? That is why the AP considers it important to point out the banking sector to the privacy rules."

While ING prompted the letter, the authority says other banks are carrying out similar activities. Newspaper de Volkskrant has identified ABN Amro, Rabobank and De Volksbank as potential culprits.

ABN Amro has since acknowledged its use of payments data and has stopped the practice temporarily ahead of a meeting with the data protection agency, adding: "We want to talk with the DPA in order to clarify how their request should be interpreted."

However, the bank insists that it only sends messages if it believes they are relevant to customers, offering the example of a reminder to clients with an interest-only mortgage that they can make additional payments on their mortgage when they have the financial means to do so.

Comments: (4)

Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle - The clever card company - Milton Keynes 09 July, 2019, 14:451 like 1 like

If they ned to go back and reseek consent from tehir customers then it's a simple as that.  I don't have any objection to consenting to my bank sending me personalised marketing and offers.  Anybody who tries to stop this is interfering with my right to be informed.....

Bruce Richardson
Bruce Richardson - An Post - Dublin 09 July, 2019, 15:13Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This probably needs ot be explained more clearly to customers and then they can make an informed choice as part of their marketing preferences. 

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 09 July, 2019, 17:54Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@MikeDoyle + 1. Open Banking, SCA, now this. Of late, EU regulators seem to be doing too much overreach.

Simon Wilson
Simon Wilson - valanticFSA - London 10 July, 2019, 08:041 like 1 like

Bonkers in my view! Just give customers the choice... it's not the banks data or the Dutch DPA data.... it's the CUSTOMERS to do what they want with. European regulation overeach writ large. Would be MUCH better to spend their attention on enforcing rules that allow customers to simply and easily control access to their data (have they looked recently at the options on most websites cookie consent etc.?)