Barclays changes terms and conditions to harness big data

Barclays Bank is to use customer data to innovate around customer services and provide insights to business customers

Barclays Bank will start using customer data to help innovate around customer services and provide commercial insights to business customers.

In its latest terms and conditions the bank has informed its customers that it will use data about them for its own developments and to sell insights to businesses.

The bank said this is anonymous numerical information with no connection to customers.

The terms and conditions read: “We can use anonymous information about customers’ transactions for our research.”

A Barclays spokeswoman said the terms and conditions are changed every year and, in this case, the bank is informing customers of their plans to make use of data.

She said it is too early to say what would come out of the data but gave examples of possible services to business and retail customers.

“The project has not started yet so we cannot go into detail. But this is about how we use more information and insights to help customers get more from their accounts.”

She said an example would be alerting a current account holder to how much they spend on energy compared too other people in their area. She added that Barclays will have information about consumer spending habits and trends that business customers might want.

Social media and mobile customer behaviour will also be harnessed, she said: “We can use information about you from interactions you have with us on social media and from mobile devices, where you’ve shared their details with us.”

At a recent presentation by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) at the Ovum Banking Forum, RBS IT architect Benjamin Stopford described how banks need to open up more data and have it all in one place to benefit, saying closed and siloed data makes the organisation opaque and unresponsive. 

Stopford said: “The technology is not quite there yet but it is close.”

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Thank you for the report. Received a letter from Barclays on the matter today and was shocked by what I read. Did google it and found very little coverage on this matter. Is the rest of Britain still in winter hibernation?

I'm going to minimize my online purchases next to nothing and spend cash in the shops to beat this new Terms and Conditions and to show I'm not a commodity to the banking world. Banks will lose out every time a transaction is done in cash and cash is withdrawn from ATM (the cost of running).