Fraud and Privacy Violation Risks in the Financial Aggregation Industry

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Organization

Université de Sherbrooke and Ryerson University

Published

2014

Project Leader(s)

Anastassios Gentzoglanis, Professor at the Université de Sherbrooke
Avner Levin, Associate Professor at Ryerson

Summary

This research project explores the privacy, fraud and potential online financial risks and security issues arising from the increasing use of account aggregation services offered to Canadian consumers by nonbank and bank aggregators.  The research team used a modified version of the Structure-Conduct-Performance paradigm. This model was used to identify the main issues to be investigated and analyze them with the objective of understanding the structure of the aggregation industry in Canada, the conduct of financial aggregators, and their respective performance. Additionally, researchers reviewed literature and secondary data from various sources, developed a questionnaire, which was distributed to French-speaking and English-speaking Canadians (Quebec and Ontario), and provided an analysis of their findings.

The researchers’ survey findings demonstrated that English and French-speaking Canadians have some behavioral characteristics in common but there are some important differences about perceptions concerning the financial aggregation industry. The main differences concern their beliefs regarding the trustworthiness of financial aggregators, their attitude towards the risks concerning violation of privacy, fraud, and the level of security of the technologies used by financial aggregators.

The researchers concluded that regulation may not be appropriate at this stage of development of the financial aggregation industry, as the financial aggregators are still striving to find the most appropriate business model to penetrate the market. Although some use a fee-for-service model, others offer the service for free. Further, the technologies used by the industry are changing drastically and there is no dominant secure technology in use. At this stage of technological convergence and development of the financial aggregation industry, regulation as a prevention mechanism is rather inappropriate. Nonetheless, the researchers recommend that overseeing and monitoring this industry may contribute to the creation of a business environment where Canadians feel more secure.

This document is available in the following language(s):

English only

OPC Funded Project

This project received funding support through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program. The opinions expressed in the summary and report(s) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Summaries have been provided by the project authors. Please note that the projects appear in their language of origin.

Contact Information

Université de Sherbrooke
2500, boul. de l'Université,
Sherbrooke, Québec
Canada
J1K 2R1

Website: http://www.usherbrooke.ca/
Tel: 819-821-7555
Fax: 819-821-8053

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