Westpac Group has welcomed the first stage of open banking in Australia by today launching generic product data as part of the Federal Government’s pilot program.
Westpac has been actively engaged on the design of the system, and today voluntarily shared some of the data via application programming interfaces (API) for the first time.
Jamie Twiss, Chief Data and Strategy Officer at Westpac, said keeping customers’ data safe is crucial, and the pilot will be an important step towards realising open banking’s full potential.
“Westpac is focusing on creating a trusted open banking regime that is secure, flexible and easy to use for all Australians.
“The pilot program will lay initial foundations to test the performance, reliability and security of the system before any personal consumer data is shared. It will also give software developers and fintechs a network of financial institution’s data to build and improve financial services.”
Open banking is intended to give customers more options to assess and manage their finances, while stimulating more innovation and competition across the banking sector. With greater transparency and more personalised services, consumers will have more ways to find, compare and choose products that are best suited to their individual needs.
“Data is driving change and transformation across all sectors of our economy, and this will only accelerate. Realising the benefits of open banking will depend on the level of confidence that customers have in the platform, and the readiness of businesses to grasp the opportunities it creates.
“We are very supportive of the regime and see it as an exciting opportunity to give our customers more choice and delight them with better banking experiences,” Mr Twiss said.
At the end of 2018, the Federal Government announced a phased approach and timeline for the introduction of open banking, starting with the release of generic product data from 1 July 2019.
The Government’s timeline contemplates customers having the option to share their banking data with trusted third parties from February 2020.
As open banking’s rules and standards continue to be finalised by government and regulators, Westpac is working towards meeting the Government’s timeline in consultation with CSIRO Data61 and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.