Ruling out screen scraping will set us back 10 years: Finder

  • By Kate Weber

The use of screen scraping needs to continue until the consumer data right is fully rolled out, according to Finder co-founder Fred Schbesta.

Schbesta made this assessment when he spoke in Sydney on Thursday at the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology.

“Unlocking Australian banking data today empowers Australians to make better financial decisions now. 

“If we were to rule out and get rid of screen scraping we would essentially send Australians back ten years in time.”

Screen scraping has been a controversial point during the public hearing with various fintech and financial services citing reasons for and against the practice. 

“We obviously have to find the right ways to do the checks and balances in a safe and responsible way. 

“Let's work towards that and finding accredited ways to make that happen and let them join in with this new programme,” said Schbesta. 

Schbesta acknowledged the transition period from screen scraping to the CDR would be a long process and suggested screen scraping be used when other technologies have yet to fill in all gaps in the market.

“Where the cables can't be connected, keep screen scraping, but where they are, I think we still use those technology companies.”

“If we were to rule out and get rid of screen scraping we would essentially send Australians back ten years in time.”

He also believes that further clarification around blockchain laws or frameworks would be beneficial as the current state of guidelines creates uncertainty for companies trying to branch into the sector.

At the moment Schbesta said many Australians are scared to take up blockchain and cryptocurrencies with many needing a learning curve before taking the leap into blockchain.

“They're a bit scared because there are a lot of big companies that are scaring people on purpose. 

“It's just an adoption curve. It's going to take time for Australians to get comfortable.

“I think the government is doing a great job of this in terms of identifying and seeing that move and where things are going. 

“Open banking is the same, it’s a time thing rather than whether Australians are ready now.”