“Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more..” will be a line familiar to Monty Python fans. But despite the comedic name, there’s nothing funny about this outfit. MH
From Reclaim the Net:
|“Nudge Unit” recommends banks track carbon footprint of transactions, reward “sustainable behaviors”
|An influential United Kingdom (UK) based social purpose organization that was blamed for the UK government’s use of “grossly unethical tactics to scare public into Covid compliance” is recommending that banks use the “wealth of data that they hold” to provide “carbon feedback” on transactions and introduce social credit-style rewards and incentives to encourage “sustainable behaviours.”
The measures are being pushed by the Behavioural Insights Team (also known as “The Nudge Unit”) which specializes in using behavioral insights to “nudge” people into changing their behavior.
In a recent blog post, The Nudge Unit revealed that it had partnered with “carbon footprint management” company Cogo to “explore how banks should go about nudging their customers to go green.”
Cogo already has partnerships with several banks, including the UK’s NatWest bank, which uses Cogo’s services to provide a personalized, real-time carbon footprint tracker in its mobile app. Cogo’s carbon footprint tracker displays carbon footprint saving and recommendation messages next to transactions. The messages include “you could save up to 138kg [of carbon] by taking public transport” and “you could save up to 7kg of carbon by changing your diet.”
|After surveying 2,007 UK mobile banking users, The Nudge Unit and Cogo found that 40% of users did not support their bank providing advice or support about reducing their environmental impact. The most common reasons users had for opposing their bank pushing these messages were that “it’s not the banks’ responsibility” and “data privacy concerns.”
Regardless, The Nudge Unit and Cogo are still urging banks to “seize this opportunity” by “introducing carbon feedback.” Specifically, The Nudge Unit and Cogo are recommending that banks “nudge customers to take the sustainable actions that people are most willing to take” by focusing on behaviors related to energy, green finance, and electric vehicles and using reward programs and incentives to encourage sustainable behaviors.
Some of the hypothetical pro-environmental offers that The Nudge Unit and Cogo showed to the mobile banking users that they surveyed include:
A “special green bank card” that’s made available “if the carbon footprint of your transactions is below a certain threshold” and that would entitle holders to perks and exclusive discounts in selected storesPrompts based on some bank transactions (one example prompt was to save on energy bills by moving to a green energy supplier)A “train miles” reward scheme that lets users accumulate points for using public transport and use these points to pay for travel tickets and other itemsSpecifically designed low-interest loans for eco purchases (such as heat pumps, insulation, and electric vehicles)Free electric vehicle trials
Related: The coronavirus response is accelerating the China-style social credit systems around the world
And here’s Nudge’s own slick propaganda piece, which does indeed include a Python reference!
(For educational purposes: Always understand how your opponent thinks.)