The second episode of our illuminating Meet the Marketeers podcast on Radio ditto saw us sit down with Sam Oakley, the Head of Marketing at Bud, to talk open banking. Pursuing a mission to make life feel more achievable for everyone, Bud is an innovative firm that provides the APIs to connect major banking clients with Fintech products and services designed to improve their customers’ financial well-being.

Built on a need to share financial data, Bud’s platform sits at the heart of a movement towards open banking. So, we brought Sam in to share his thoughts on the challenges faced by the sector – and the role that marketing has to play within that.

Why trust isn’t the issue you think it is in open banking

A key challenge for any firm engaging in the open banking market is how to build consumer trust. And, for Sam, it’s important for people to understand how much control they actually have over their data.

As a regulated concept, Sam explains that ‘Open Banking’ is safer than the various other ways people were already sharing their data. “You only ever share your data at your own initiation under Open Banking,” he says. “So it’s not a question of your bank sharing details about you. Under Open Banking, you as a customer can go to your bank and ask them to share your data with someone providing a service that your bank doesn’t.”

“From a trust perspective, that’s an important differentiator,” he continues. “I totally agree that there’ll always be trust issues in sharing highly personal datasets like your transaction history. But, from a practical point of view, if you make it clear enough to people what they’re doing and provide them with a reason for doing it, you don’t see much of an issue.”

How Marketing can shape the story around open banking

When it comes to the role of marketing in allaying consumer fears over open banking, Sam highlights the need to provide an interface between companies and the market. “It has a huge part to play in that you’re framing the problem in the minds of clients and customers – along with the way you present the solution,” he says.

However, he doesn’t see this as a traditional educational marketing exercise. “I don’t think it’s a challenge where, if you tell people enough that it’s safe, they’ll start to trust it,” he explains. “You have to provide a service and a reason for them to want to trust it – and then they’ll find a reason to trust you.”

He also points to the challenge of operating within an interconnected ecosystem. “We’re acutely aware that, in the open banking ecosystem, the failures of one third party in that ecosystem will resonate onto everyone else,” he says. “A high-profile data breach, or something like that, now would be a real challenge – not just for the people who suffered the data breach but also for everyone else in the system.”

When your ‘go-to market’ strategy won’t work, bring the market to you

So, how can firms respond to the challenge of building trust in open banking? For Sam, it’s less about taking your product to market and more about bringing the market to you.

“There are loads of studies that show how, if you tell someone something, you need to tell them several times before they remember it,” Sam explains. “Whereas, if you get someone to tell you something, they’ll remember it after a very short time.”

“When I talk about bringing the market to us, what I mean is asking them for help,” he continues. “We bring them into our product creation process to help us build the right things for them. So, in six months time when they have a project, they can go to any number of open banking providers or they can go to the one where they helped to build the product.”

Find out more about how marketing is changing perceptions of open banking at a time when financial institutions are investing heavily in their digital channels. Listen back to the second episode of Meet the Marketeers below and tune in to the rest of the series, here.