Blog: a digital contribution to financial decision-making?

By Hans Timmerman (EMC)
Posted on December 08, 2015

How can technology help people chart their financial risks and then make the best decisions? Hans Timmerman, the chief technology officer of EMC Netherlands, blogged about this after attending a Think Forward Initiative pre-summit session in November.

Big data gives us the potential to support our spending - past and present - and plan better. Our financial data is increasingly digital, organised and available. But this raises the issue of privacy. Many people see their finances as very personal, and many don’t want prying eyes to see into their books.

Developing tools to give people their own digital private banker is of course an interesting development—but to whom you would entrust that task? This is a debate that’s already reflected in the financial world. Banks have good insight into their customers’ financial life, but the question is who that data belongs to: the account holder or the bank?

““I must be the owner of my own data“”

I myself have a clear opinion about that: the data belongs to the account holder. The bank is a (paid) service provider that must use that data to deliver that desired service. If I would switch to another bank, I would also like to bring my historical data.

As a citizen, I must be the owner of my own data. I can decide under strict conditions to allow others insight into my data, for example, to purchase a certain service or to meet legal requirements. I’ve written blogs about this already.

Other digital aid could be sought in the world of gamification – creating games aimed at teaching people how to make smart financial decisions. This is also a way to teach children at a young age these desired skills. Putting it in a virtual world helps people who are not as gifted with language.

Read the full blog, in Dutch only, here.

EMC a partner in the Think Forward Initiative.