Macquarie takes on Australia's Big Four with open banking portal

Macquarie takes on Australia's Big Four with open banking portal

Macquarie Bank has stolen a march on Australia's Big Four by releasing an open banking platform for customers to transfer data to approved third party applications.

Customers will have the option to securely connect their personal banking data such as transactions and home loan balances, as well as their business and wealth information, into third party providers like budgeting apps and accounting software to create their own personalised banking experience.

The API-led open banking revolution has become something of a touchstone for Australian fintech firms and politicians, who have chided the nation's biggest banks for failing to provide open access to customer data. The Australian Government's Productivity Commission recently called for a new "comprehensive right" allowing consumers to transfer data from an incumbent to competitors. A Government report into the issue is scheduled to be released by year-end.

NAB launched an API portal back in December, but has so far limited data services to incorporate branch and ATM location, and foreign exchange rates, rather than customer transactional data.

Macquarie says its platform is "unique" because any third party provider who meets the bank's open platform standards and security criteria can connect. The platform also features Macquarie devXchange, an open developer portal with a test sandbox to help third party developers to create and test new features in a safe environment.

Macquarie’s head of personal banking Ben Perham says: “Our customers have been telling us they want to securely connect their information into their favourite accounting software, budgeting app and other innovative services they’re interested in. APIs are being used by leading digital companies like Amazon and Google to transform consumer experiences, and we’re excited about the opportunities the technology will bring to financial services."

Currently in pilot with a number of unspecified third parties, the SAP-based platform will be made available more broadly in the coming months, he adds

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