I received a freaky call from Standard Bank a little earlier. I booked tickets for my family to Cape Town next week and the call I received was from the travel department at the bank (somewhere in the behemoth that is my bank) clarifying whether our tickets are for local flights or international. I’m not sure what the motive for the call was but it drove home how much information our banks have about us and our habits. We worry about social networks using our personal information but the profiles our banks probably develop must be very comprehensive and granular.
I imagine the call was part of an effort to market more specific services to customers based on their purchasing habits and while that may be valuable (I have just complained about indiscriminate and unsolicited marketing and something more focused is what I had in mind as an alternative), I’d like the bank to make more of an effort to let me know it is profiling me the way it may be doing and to what extent. I’d also like to know if/when I am going to receive calls like this.