Westpac is leveraging its investment in data sharing startup Data Republic with the launch of a service that enables corporate clients to store and exchange anonymised data with a view to gaining deeper insights into customer behaviour.
The launch of Westpac Databank comes three months after Westpac joined National Australia Bank and Qantas in a $10.5 million investment round in Sydney-based Data Republic, which is aiming to build a marketplace for data exchange between major corporations.
Founded by Paul McCarney and Danny Gilligan - the co-founder of Westpac's venture arm - in 2014, Data Republic provides a legal framework and technology platform for companies, governments and not-for-profits to share and exchange customer data files.
Westpac’s Databank allows corporate clients that have obtained appropriate permissions from their customers to securely separate and store customer information on the Australian bank's dedicated bankgrade security infrastructure, with Data Republic handling client transaction data and Databank managing identity data
Westpac’s chief strategy officer Gary Thursby says that with data sharing now common practice in Australia and globally, the need for better quality platforms and controls is imperative following a number of high profile security breaches.
"By launching Databank, we’re giving other organisations a safe and secure place to store their data," he says. "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."
Data Republic's McCarney says that the service removes 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.