The ACCC will soon reveal the first five to ten companies to get accreditation to receive open banking data. That accreditation however only buys them a ticket to the dance and gives them the opportunity to participate in testing. They will still have to prove their technical and process bona fides in the months ahead.

While the new regime – based on the recently passed Consumer Data Right legislation – really kicks in next year in February, companies who want to take advantage of the opportunity will need the time to get their systems in order.

Open Banking mandates that banks share customer data, if the customer chooses, in a machine-readable way. It is expected the data portability of a mature open banking scheme will make switching banks much easier and encourage banks and third-party providers to develop new financial service based on the newly freed data.

Demand for the data is already strong, with 40 companies applying for the right to be first off the rank, a number which the ACCC General Manager, Consumer Data Right Branch Bruce Cooper described as surprising. He was speaking at an event organized by comparison service Finder into open banking in Sydney this morning

According to Cooper, the project is still on track for a February 2020 start with the big four banks as the data sharers. The goal is to bring another 100 banks into the regime over the next year, he later revealed.

“We are at a position now where we need to choose the data recipients, and those data recipients are going to have to be accredited.”

“We can’t approve everyone who wants to be a data recipient in one go as we want a controlled launch. We are looking at between five and ten data recipients initially and we will hopefully announce who those people are in the next week or so.

He said those companies will need to have the right kind of IT security, to have insurance in place, and they will need to demonstrate that they comply with the rules for things like record-keeping and consent management.

“Even after they get the accreditiation those people will need to demonstrate through testing that they can receive or exchange data,” he said.

In anything, that threshold probably just got a little harder since the government announced yesterday that it will now also include a right to be forgotten in the regime – an amendment that was necessary to ensure bipartisan support for the legislation.

Finally, as an interesting footnote to the event, in a survey at the start of the session 40 per cent of the audience – made up largely of banking professions said they would not be willing to share their bank data with third parties, though that number dropped to 20 per cent by the end. Read into that what you will.

 

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