ACCC set to roll out the first accredited data recipients

  • By Christine St Anne

The competition watchdog is set to launch five to 10 accredited data recipients as early as next week as it aims for the February 2020 start on open banking

Speaking at a Finder event on open banking in Sydney in Thursday, ACCC’s Bruce Cooper - said that the regulator is hoping to announce the accredited data recipients – from an initial application of 40 – “hopefully” next week. 

This will mean these businesses will now be authorized to receive customer data within an open banking framework. 

“These data recipients had to satisfy the security and compliance rules such as record keeping and data consent management. We want to have a controlled launch, ensuring that the system is fully tested [ahead of open banking], “Cooper said. 

He would not specifically name each of the businesses but that there was a “good mix” that includes big and small companies. 

“Some are aggregators, others offer PFM [personal finance management] tools. There is a reasonable smattering.”

Consumer awareness is also the next big priority. 

“The lessons from the UK highlight the important role of education if consumers are to really embrace open banking,” he said. 

Indeed, it was the lack of consumer education that Cooper was highlighting in the UK which Australia could learn from.

Here he would like to “put a bet each way” and sees both the industry and government playing a role. 

He added that it was important that people were educated about their data rights rather than just putting all their trust with accredited providers.

“While we may have accredited data recipients, we don’t want to signal to consumers that their data will be automatically safe. There will be data breaches.

“We also don’t want the CDR [Consumer Data Right] as been seen as just a government initiative. Trust is needed. Just look what happened with My Health Records [data breach].”  

Cooper who is leading the ACCC’s consumer data right branch was speaking on a panel that included Allens banking specialist Alex Ortner and Finder co-founder Fred Schebesta

Ortner said that consumers needed to trust and understand the process 

“People will need to know that there are safeguards in place. In fact, there were safeguards in place in My Health Records system but no one knew about these safeguards. The media just seized on one issue.

“The ACCC and Treasury both have the right safeguards in place to address data breaches. There is a rigorous process in place, consumers just need to be aware of that and be confident in the system,” Ortner said. 

Finder’s Schebesta highlighted that while people won’t be actively talking about open banking, they will be aware of the services underpinned by the legislation. 

Expectations around banking will be around the service delivery already led by businesses like Uber. 

“People don’t talk about what TCP [transmission controls protocol] does for the internet but they are aware of the seamless delivering of services on the internet. The same experience will be applied to the banking, energy and insurance markets.”