Unlocking the power of zero party data in financial services

BetterTradeOff CEO Laurent Bertrand reveals the transformative power of AI and data-driven approach in personalising financial planning.

Consumers willing to share their personal data with brands expect to receive highly tailored services and experiences, according to a co-founder of Singapore-based financial services firm BetterTradeOff.

In a recent interview, the Singapore Business Review asked BetterTradeOff CEO Laurent Bertrand for his thoughts on why the latest consumer data revolution report shows that 64% of respondents in Asia Pacific said they are more willing to engage with brands.

“As a consumer, I’m telling you things about myself because I’ve expectations; you’re going to deliver me a much better service — something really personalised,” Bertrand said, explaining that this is what drives consumers to engage with brands that collect their data.

He said brands that seek to engage with customers on a personalised level recognise the necessity of gathering data directly from their clients to service them better; and so clients willingly provide their personal information. This reciprocal relationship is known as “zero party data.”

Since consumers today are more digitally savvy and understand the value of their data, Bertrand said they expect brands to use their data in a meaningful and positive manner whilst ensuring safety and protection.

He said the critical role of zero party data in delivering personalised experiences cannot be overemphasised as it serves the same purpose in the financial services industry, where personalised advice and tailored products are key.

To achieve scalability in delivering such services, institutions need comprehensive data to leverage the power of analytics and other tools effectively.

Bertrand stressed that zero party data enables financial institutions to build trust with their customers and provide them with the level of personalisation they desire.

Looking towards the future, the CEO highlighted two potential developments in the utilisation of zero party data in the financial services industry, beginning with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI).

There is excitement and promise in leveraging AI technologies such as OpenAI because financial institutions can accelerate access to relevant and personalised information, enabling them to deliver AI-driven advice tailored to each individual’s needs.

“I think that’s going to be one part where zero party data is going to play an incredibly important role by the ability to give an AI experience that is going to be really personalised,” Bertrand said.

He also cited the combination of generative AI with more traditional methods, such as simulations, for offering exciting possibilities. This fusion of different techniques relies heavily on high-quality data volunteered by consumers, further underscoring the significance of zero party data.

On ethical considerations surrounding the use of zero party data, Bertrand stressed the importance of being explicit about the purpose of data collection and ensuring transparency with consumers.

“In general, we have precedent, but for AI [to be] acing the ethical part is gonna be very important,” he pointed out.

Bertrand told the Singapore Business Review that financial institutions should adhere to existing norms and regulations such as the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in Singapore and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.

He acknowledged the challenge of aggregating and repackaging information whilst maintaining ethical boundaries, particularly when AI algorithms are involved.

But BetterTradeOff’s commitment to leveraging zero party data for personalised financial planning demonstrates the transformative power of this data-driven approach.

In his view, striking the right balance requires responsible practices, clear communication, and consumer control.

Betrand then highlighted the significance of having the appropriate technological and process infrastructure in place to ensure privacy, security, and availability of data.

“The last part is about your infrastructure... maintain the stress and we maintain the ability to act,” he said, citing the need to avoid a black box scenario and maintain control over AI systems.

As a parting shot, Bertrand underscored that financial institutions can navigate the fine line between utilising zero party data for personalised offerings whilst respecting boundaries, building trust and delivering meaningful experiences.

For more business news and insights, visit sbr.com.sg.

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