Bank cards record a lot of information about our buying habits or our actions… but what do banks know about us?

It is a small rectangle of plastic that we know by coronary heart: the financial institution card information a lot of knowledge on our buying habits or our actions, which may be reused by banks or different gamers.

Does my financial institution know all the things I purchase?

When making a cost by card, the financial institution information “cost knowledge”: transaction quantity, date and time of cost, service provider id, and so forth.

On the opposite hand, it doesn’t have entry to particulars of bought merchandise generally known as “Purchase Data”.

When making funds on-line, issues get difficult as a result of buy knowledge may be unfold amongst many gamers “together with banks,” defined AFP Aymeric Pontvianne, finance and innovation adviser on the National Commission for Information Technology and Freedom (Cnil).

“But they’ve little interest in creating a historical past of this knowledge”, he believes, as a result of their clients anticipate a strictly banking service and their financial institution “will surely react very badly” to tracing their purchases.

“Trust in banks for knowledge administration is a enormous asset, we’ve got no intention of taking part in with it”, confirmed Sophie Heller, Head of Commercial, Retail Banking and Services at BNP Paribas.

Also, retailers are jealous of their clients’ buy knowledge as sharing it with banks will give a lot of indication of their efficiency.

Mr. Pontvien believes that knowledge sharing can happen between a distributor and a banking participant in a single particular case: loyalty cards that additionally act as cost cards. In common, distributors, to deal with such cards, are subsidiaries of a financial institution with whom they will share knowledge with out concern as it’s half of the identical group.

The buyer should first give his consent as required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

And beware of those that are imprecise about this: Carrefour and its banking subsidiary have been fined 3 million euros by Cnil in 2020 for failing of their obligation to supply cross card information. Data Constable, nevertheless, indicated that the group then made “vital efforts” to carry itself into compliance.

What can this information be used for?

Historically, banks might entry their clients’ cost knowledge to evaluate their spending, advise them and for anti-money laundering functions. This information is protected by financial institution confidentiality.

Subject to particular consent from their clients, they could use them for advertising functions.

In this case, a financial institution might analyze a buyer’s cost knowledge to advertise particular providers of its subsidiaries in a focused method. For instance, if a particular person spends a lot of cash on insurance coverage or gasoline, he can supply him his personal insurance coverage or his electrical automotive rental service.

Bank clients do not have the fitting to determine a “profile” from their knowledge that might threat depriving them of sure rights: for instance, refusing credit score or insurance coverage as a result of a buyer makes common purchases at a pharmacy and should thereby doubtlessly be affected by a illness.

Can solely banks know this information?

Banks usually are not the one ones that maintain knowledge on our habits as a result of the means of cost have multiplied in recent times and digital purchases have “created extra knowledge actions which can be much less anticipated”, notes Aymeric Pontvianne.

Some start-ups, checking account aggregators or main digital platforms that develop cost strategies can entry a lot of knowledge on this approach, generally with out being clear about it.

For Cnil, the one answer to anonymity in funds is money, which is used extra or much less on a day-to-day foundation and for small purchases.

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