Innovation That Matters

Intelligent Assistant app puts users in charge of personal data

Work & Lifestyle

MyWave's Intelligent Assistant app uses a customer managed relationships model to let users choose which companies see what information.


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In order to function in a truly personalised manner, Intelligent Assistant apps inevitably need to acquire a huge amount of user data. While many consumers are happy to accept this, they’re perhaps a little more uneasy when their Intelligent Assistant app then shares that information with retailers — albeit to source a deal for their user. Looking to disrupt this model, NZ-based MyWave believes that customers and retailers can benefit by leaving data management in the user’s hands.

MyWave’s Intelligent Assistant app, Frank, helps users shop, buy a house and manage bills by comparing the best prices of brands that meet their criteria, even suggesting a change in energy supplier if a better price is found. However, rather than receiving push-notifications via targeted advertising (the standard Customer Relationship Management model), Frank asks the user’s permission before any information is shared with retailers. “Each user has their own personal cloud, completely visible and under their direct control. Frank won’t share your information without your permission,” explains founder, Geraldine McBride. After research found that over 80 percent of consumers in the US had privacy concerns over third party data-sharing, McBride decided that the traditional model could be flipped to allow customers to dictate terms to retailers, which they call a Customer Managed Relationships model. Retailers can also use a business version of MyWave to help them understand how customers are responding to their products — “With [Frank], enterprises share data back with their customers, and use this data to build a better relationship and better services.”


With customers concerned about online data sharing, how can companies adapt to deliver personalized online shopping experiences that users trust?



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