Westpac announced the launch of Westpac Databank, a platform that provides secure identity data management for data exchange company Data Republic.

According to the bank, Data Republic’s technology offers a marketplace for data exchange between organisations that want to enrich their own customer insights.

Westpac says Databank is designed so that data is stored in a world-class, bank-grade secure environment, which sits behind Westpac’s network and infrastructure.

The benefit for companies using the service is that they will be able to store their customer identity data in Databank, in the knowledge that it stays with the bank. This is the case even during multi-party data shares.

This significantly reduces the risk of identity theft, customer data breaches, or security, privacy and consent issues that can occur with identity data storage and sharing.

According to Westpac’s Chief Strategy Officer Gary Thursby, data sharing is now common practice in Australia and globally, fuelling the need for better-quality platforms and controls. That need is highlighted by a number of high profile security breaches involving some well-known brands.

“Banks have among the safest and most secure systems in the world, and we’re continually evolving our practices to ensure we’re keeping customers’ information and details secure,” Thursby said.

“By launching Databank, we’re giving other organisations a safe and secure place to store their data.

“Databank does not analyse or exchange data. It provides the infrastructure for organisations wishing to adopt best practices, and manage identity data risk in one of the safest environments available. These organisations can then assure their customers about the security of their identity data,” said Thursby.

Paul McCarney, co-founder and CEO of Data Republic, said that the Databank service removed risks for organisations engaging in data sharing by separating, encrypting and storing customer identities away from attribute-related data sets, addressing key concerns of both consumers and organisations.

“The launch of Databank represents a world-first in the banking of customer information, no-one is storing personal information in this way and, together with Data Republic, this best-practice security construct removes data exchange risks to the consumer,” McCarney said.

Data Republic and Westpac Databank work in unison, with Data Republic handling client transaction data and Databank managing identity data. This physical separation ensures a bank-grade secure solution for data sharing.

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