More than seven out of 10 (73%) Australian consumers want direct control, or the option to have more control, over how their data is used by companies and governments, according to findings from the Visa Consumer Empowerment Study.

However, this correlates with an elevated impression of online security; when Australians shop online, more than one-quarter (27%) describe the experience as ‘very secure’ which is among the highest in Asia Pacific, compared to 12% in Singapore and 14% in Hong Kong.

The Visa Study also found Australians to be highly engaged digital natives, with 43% of respondents making online purchases weekly and 20% using over eight applications daily.

Consumer sentiment also highlighted a potential gap in the data guidance that businesses provide their online users, with almost two-thirds (64%) of Australian consumers believing that companies benefit more from using their data then they do. 65% say companies only sometimes, rarely, or never educate them about how data collection works and consumer options to control it.

In response, Visa has released its Consent Management Specification, a set of global technical guidelines that focus on creating consistent permission experiences for data-sharing requests, enabling customers to have greater visibility into what personal data they share with companies online, and what it will be used for.

Visa Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific head of data and risk products, Riaz Nasrabadi said, “Visa has been closely studying the challenges of consent management since 2019, with extensive global research and studies being conducted over multiple countries to better understand consumer needs.

“The findings from the research suggest that consumers desire more transparent and intuitive permission experiences and would be more open to sharing their data if they had more direct control over how the data is used. At Visa, we believe that a greater understanding of how data will be used will empower consumers to make informed decisions and driver greater participation in the digital ecosystem.”