The Australian Government has pushed back against attempts by the country's top banks to stall the introduction of Open Banking reforms, setting a one-year timetable for the move to data sharing with third party providers.
The Australian Banking Association alongside Westpac and Commonwealth Bank had urged the Government to delay plans for Open Banking and limit its scope to exclude lending products, citing high costs and security issues.
But the Government has rejected the bank's overtures and instead pushed ahead with its initial proposals to allow bank customers to pass on their transaction, deposit and debit and credit card data to other accredited financial services providers by July 2019.
The government has however decided to delay mortgage data access to February 2020, and information on personal loans until July 2020.
The announcement was welcomed by the country's fintech startups, who had been campaigning to keep the reform programme on track and for a formal role for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission "to stop knee-jerk anti-competitive measures by banks".
FinTech Australia chair Stuart Stoyan says: “Finally, customers will be able to use a regulated system to unlock the power of their own data to get access to financial services better tailored to their needs.”
“This reform is expected to force downward pressure on lending costs, allow people to more easily manage their budget and be able to shop around for the best investments. They will also be able to easily switch their bank accounts to new fintech challenger banks. Put simply, this means better customer outcomes.”