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UK-wide survey shows Londoners happiest to share their location data


A UK-wide survey of 2,000 people has found Londoners are the happiest to share their location data with brands, as long as they receive relevant deals in return.

The capital’s consumers came out on top, according to the Location Data Index from digital financial services provider Intelligent Environments. Over half (55%) of Londoners said they were happy for brands like banks and retailers to use location data from their smartphones to send them exclusive location-relevant offers.

Second and third in Intelligent Environments’ Location Data Index were Birmingham and Manchester with 44% and 43% respectively.

According to Intelligent Environments, one theory why Londoners are the most accepting of location-based services is that they understand its benefits after taking part in numerous city-wide trials. For example, hundreds of retailers are now using iBeacons, the Apple location-based service, in Brixton as a way to facilitate customer payments.

Banks across the world are now capitalising on the benefits location-based marketing provide. For example, St. George Bank in Sydney announced its trial of iBeacons earlier this year. The bank plans to use the iBeacons to detect when a customer walks into a branch, then send a welcome message and tailored information to their smartphone.

David Webber, managing director at Intelligent Environments, explains: “Contrary to recent reports in the media around consumer sensitivity to data sharing, our Location Data Index clearly shows that people are, in fact, increasingly happy to share location data with brands – and many are happy to share their locations to a wide arena of businesses – whether they’re retailers or banks. This presents financial services providers with a huge opportunity to improve targeting and send offers that are relevant to specific locations. Consequently we’ll soon see widespread use of location data for enhanced targeting, including identifying when customers are in an airport and sending them a targeted offer on travel money, for example.”

The use of data location services like iBeacons could hold significant benefit for retailers, brands and financial services providers to differentiate their service. Location data can be used to identify the type of services a customer is signed up to when they enter a branch, directing them to the relevant part of the business without needing to go through the preliminary steps and ultimately reducing waiting time.

Other uses for location data include improvements on authentication methods. Financial services providers in particular, but retailers taking payments too, can use location data to show where the customer is when they’re purchasing an item. By locating the customer at the point of purchase, financial services providers can help reduce card-present fraud and increase customer security.

Webber continues: “British banks, retailers and brands now have a huge opportunity to use location-based services to deliver a more personal, context-rich customer experience. Our research shows that in large cities such as London and Birmingham, many customers now welcome the chance to gain additional value by sharing their location. However, there’s a thin line to tread here – financial services providers need to ensure they don’t annoy their customers with untargeted offers. The industry winners will be those that use technology to add value to customers’ lives.”

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