SINGAPORE — With Singapore consumers increasingly living their lives online, almost eight out of 10 (77 per cent) want the option to control their data rather than leaving it up to the discretion of companies and government, according to recently released Consumer Data Confidence Research by Visa, a world leader in digital payment technology.
The research, which was conducted in May 2021 with 2,000 adults in Singapore, also found that two in three Singapore consumers use shopping apps/websites and financial services apps/websites weekly, exposing them to an increasing number of requests for their personal data.
Sixty-five per cent of consumers are required to provide personal data almost every time they use an online service. However, close to three in four Singaporean consumers (74 per cent) report that companies rarely educate them about data collection policies or data management options, and more than half (52 per cent) believe data policies are written to protect companies’ legal interests rather than their own.
In response to consumer demands for customer-centric data permission models, Visa is collaborating with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to explore industry-led development of consent standards such as consent purpose and consent flow models to strengthen consumer understanding, control, and comfort with data sharing. Through the partnership, Visa and IMDA will also explore future collaboration opportunities with like-minded companies in Singapore to pilot consent solution and/or tools.
Visa has released its Consent Management Specification — a set of technical guidelines on how global organisations can establish better processes and improve the user experience for collecting data usage permissions. These guidelines focus on creating consistent permission experiences for data-sharing requests, enabling consumers to decide what personal data they will share with companies online, and what it will be used for.
Adeline Kim, Visa’s Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei said: “Data is a defining part of our online experiences — whether you are shopping online for groceries or completing mobile banking transactions. Improving the way businesses request for and manage consumer data is critical to providing consumers with frictionless online commerce and payment experiences.
“Visa is pleased to partner with IMDA to improve data consent standards, placing control of personal data back into the hands of the consumer. This collaboration, along with efforts such as the Visa Consent Management Specification guidelines, will help businesses in Singapore establish standardised processes and encourage more consumers to participate in the data sharing economy.”
Yeong Zee Kin, Assistant Chief Executive (Data Innovation and Protection Group) of IMDA and Deputy Commissioner, Personal Data Protection Commission said: “Each day, we click through numerous online web forms, consenting to common requests, such as cookie collection and receiving marketing messages. But they all look and behave differently. Establishing standardised permission flows can engender consumer trust. We are heartened by Visa’s ambition to create a seamless and transparent end to end experience. We strongly encourage companies to adopt these consumer-centric consent models.”
More than two in three Singapore consumers (67 per cent) believe that all companies should be required to offer standardised requests for collecting personal data, while roughly three in five (64 per cent) say they are more likely to grant permission to companies if standardised requests are offered.
Such findings might motivate businesses to improve their request for data to improve consumer trust and make them more likely to grant permission to use their personal data.