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Turning compliance into an opportunity: What SE Asia can learn from the mistakes of the western markets

Anant Choubey, Regional Head – APAC, Capillary Technologies | Sept. 1, 2014
The growing use of consumer data has seen Southeast Asian countries adopting regulatory frameworks similar to that of western markets to protect and safeguard misuse of personal data

The growing use of consumer data has seen Southeast Asian countries adopting regulatory frameworks similar to that of western markets to protect and safeguard misuse of personal data. Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan have introduced the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) that mandates organizations to take specific measures to protect personal customer information. The measures are related to collection, protection, accuracy, disclosure and transfer of personal information. The act ensures that organizations that fail to meet these obligations face significant reputational and cost impact.

With Southeast Asian countries aiming to be added to the 'white list' of European Commission, the law enforcement concerning data protection is likely to be stringent. Hence, retailers will need to continually evaluate their data protection processes, systems and policies to ensure they comply with the legislation and in the process invent a few best practices of their own.

Loyalty is the best policy

The ever-growing trend of loyalty programs across the region has seen marketers striving hard to develop innovative ways to create more tailored and relevant programs to optimize benefits for their customers. Loyalty programs are a great way to collect and manage customer information as these can be used as an effective opt-in mechanisms. These programs can help address the consent issues of personal data usage, while delivering customer intelligence required to drive profitability and customer engagement.

Secure your POS data

To gather information, to gain competitive advantage, retailers are increasingly adopting smart technology at the point-of-sale. Retailers need to deploy enhanced processes and technologies to tighten point-of-sale cyber security. Encryption systems should be used while transferring data between different segments of the POS system. There should also be a robust internal protocols, systems and hierarchies in place to swiftly and proactively respond to red flag situations. Each employee must be made aware and trained to deal with such situations appropriately.

Social media, in-store and location based marketing

Social media is a great way to be informed about your customers' preferences and if done right, can greatly enhance your customer service. Social media platforms can help gain complete visibility into customer transactions, interactions, preferences and shopping habits in real-time. However, privacy concerns are now affecting social media data analytics for retailers.

Using effective privacy policies and being transparent works in favor of the retailer. Clearly stated policies and explicitly stated platform settings, help retailers stay out of regulatory troubles while making effective use of social media.

In-store or location based service help retailers deploy targeted marketing campaigns however these systems require consumers to opt-in explicitly. To ensure compliance with data privacy provisions it is advisable to have an opt-in approach where customers willingly provide information in order to receive personalized offers and service.  

Regulatory compliance accelerating the pace of innovation


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