Customization VS Privacy

In Insights, Security, Technology by Blake McClelland

In the world of mobile payments, the possibilities for customization are vast.


by Blake McClelland
Director of Business Development

Location, purchasing habits, stated preferences, time of day, etc — any one of these can be used as the basis for push promotions or geo-couponing.Imagine I run a chain of pizza parlours. Everyday there’s a slump between 2 and 4pm—a dead period when I’m still paying staff. With geofencing I could push an offer to existing customers nearby. They’ve already opted in, so I know they like my product; and the offer expires in an hour, right when my dinner rush begins.

Our phones carry unlimited depths of personal information—Google now knows if you have a flight to New York tomorrow (two for one bagels at Katz’s Deli), lunch with mom next week (30% off flowers), or an important anniversary next month (free engraving on that gold watch you Pinned recently).

The potential for custom tailoring is enough to make any bank perk up. After all, as a bank considering mobile products, you likely have two main goals:

  • increase current usage or wallet share
  • grow revenue

Customization expands your opportunities for both, but for it to work customers need to feel like you are giving them something relevant and valuable. Sure, all kinds of customization may be possible, but at what point does it become simply intrusive or overwhelming?

An effective tool will strike the right balance between customization and privacy. I think there are two considerations for achieving this:

    1. Invest in a first-rate User Interface

There’s nothing wrong with offering every possible depth of customization, as long as the customer is in control. Invest in an incredible UI that gives consumers complete choice. As a user I want to opt in to some services and out of others. I don’t want anyone deciding for me what content I’ll find valuable. Put me in the drivers seat and just maybe I’ll say yes to your push offer. Create a robust tool that lets me tell you what really matters to me. Now THAT’S valuable data.

  1. Educate users on security
    No one objects to receiving a coupon they know they’ll use, but getting it sent right to your phone based on location flags security concerns for many users.The fact is, if users have a membership or loyalty card or shop online, retailers already have much of the personal information inherent to mobile programs.And the security tied to a mobile wallet is vastly more sophisticated than a plastic loyalty card. Address misconceptions head on. Educate your users around the implications of data they share—it gets used, and how you keep it secure. Secure data is a core offering of processors like Carta—we’re Level 1 PCI compliant, with advanced monitoring and monthly penetration testing. That’s our business.

Carta has the platform and all the tools to enable detailed user control and state of the art data security, while offering banks and program managers all the customization they desire. So you don’t need to choose between customization and privacy.

Location, purchasing habits, stated preferences, time of day, etc — any one of these can be used as the basis for push promotions or geo-couponing.