Many new financial innovations rely on people choosing to give a company access to their digital financial records held by another company. If you’re using these kinds of services, we’d love to hear from you…
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Services that rely on consumers granting access to their financial records include:
Budgeting analysis and advice: Some tools let people set budgets and analyze their spending activity. The tools organize your purchases across multiple accounts into categories like food, health care, and entertainment so you can see trends. Some services send a text or email notification when a spending category is close to being over-budget.
Product recommendations: Some tools may make recommendations for new financial products based on your financial history. For example, if your records show that you have a lot of ATM fees, a tool might recommend other checking accounts with lower or no ATM fees.
Account verification: Many companies need you to verify your identity and bank account information. Access to your financial records can speed that process.
Loan applications: Some lenders may access your financial records to confirm your income and other information on your loan application.
Automatic or motivational savings: Some companies analyze your records to provide you with automatic savings programs and messages to keep you motivated to save.
Bill payment: Some services may collect your bills and help you organize your payments in a timely manner.
Fraud and identity theft protection: Some services analyze your records across various accounts to alert you about potentially fraudulent transactions.
Investment management: Some services use your account records to help you manage your investments.
A little more about the CFPB:
Our job is to put consumers first and help them take more control over their financial lives. We’re the one federal agency with the sole mission of protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. We want to make sure that consumer financial products and services are helping people rather than harming them.
A hat tip to @GeneKoo (an old Berkman Klein colleague) at the CFPB, who sees our work with ProjectVRM as especially relevant to what they’re doing. Of course, we agree. So let’s help them help us, and everybody else in the process.
Some additional links:
- CFPB Advances Plans Giving Bank Customers Data-Sharing Rights, by By Yuka Hayashi and Telis Demos in The Wall Street Journal
- The government’s consumer watchdog wants to know how your financial data is shared, by Jonnelle Marte in The Washington Post
- Who owns consumer data? By Fred O. Williams in CreditCards.com
- Facebook post