Consumers embracing open banking: SocietyOne

Consumers support open data sharing and better control of their data, according to a recent survey following the government’s budgetary measures to boost competition in banking.   

The research by peer-to-peer lender, SocietyOne, surveyed over 450 consumers after the government revealed it would give the green light for an open banking framework and comprehensive credit reporting. 

The key findings revealed that 88 per cent of people supported the government’s plans to give them more control of their data while 72 per cent said banks should share their data.

The survey also found that 57 per cent believe sharing data about consumers’ positive credit histories will drive competition while 67 per cent supported the government’s planned legislation that would force data sharing if organisations won’t do it voluntary.

Due to speak at the RFi Group Australian Retail Banking Summit in Sydney on Thursday, SocietyOne co-founder Greg Symons (pictured), said the results were encouraging and highlighted support in the community for data-sharing initiatives. 

“It is encouraging to see there is a substantial amount of support amongst the public for consumers to be given greater control over their data so that they can make better choices about the financial products that suit their specific needs,” Symons said.

“What’s more, they also believe banks and other financial organisations should share this data which would help existing and new credit providers like fintechs to make more considered and comprehensive decisions about lending to consumers using their individual credit histories."

Greater role for fintechs

Symons added that consumer support for greater data sharing - backed by a more comprehensive and mandatory approach to credit reporting - will give Australia “an opportunity to empower consumers in a way that we have not done so before”. 

As expected, the fintech community have also supported the government’s planned reforms. Stone & Chalk chief executive Alex Scandurra said the measures would pave the way for a greater role for fintechs. 

“Open data, if done properly, has the potential to unleash innovation and economic activity at an unprecedented scale,” Scandurra told AB+F

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said the introduction of an open banking regime will boost competition and create further opportunities for innovative business models in banking that enhance competition.

Symons echoes both Scandurra and the Federal Treasurers’ views. 

“With the government’s determination to make progress on both fronts, not only will these changes help individual Australians they could spur competition in financial services, so boosting future economic growth.”

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