Majors wide open on data rights

Ian Rogers Finance regulation
‘We’ll be ready by July’ - Jamie Twiss (left), chief data officer, Westpac and Jonathan-Davey, EGM digital, NAB.
‘We’ll be ready by July’ - Jamie Twiss (left), chief data officer, Westpac and Jonathan-Davey, EGM digital, NAB.

Open banking enthusiasts can expect most and maybe all four major banks to be lined up for the first major milestone around consumer data rights in the middle of this year.

“We’re gearing up for product reference data to be available from July 2019,” Andrew Stevens, chair of Data61 – the Consumer Data Standards section of CSIRO - told an industry conference in Sydney yesterday.

“We’ve had something like 150 contributors to the draft standards” on the Consumer Data Right, Stevens said.

“The work by data holders in Big Four banking land is well advanced.

“I think [the timetable] is quite realistic, we’ll know by 4th April,” Stevens said.

“That’s when our meetings with the banks are over.”

Senior executives from a couple of the big banks, speaking on panels during the day, would not be swayed by sceptical questions they may yet drag the chain.

Jonathan Davey, executive general manager for digital at National Australia Bank, said “we’re in good shape for that to occur,” on July 1.

“We’re ready to pilot the proof of connectivity.”

Jamie Twiss, chief data officer at Westpac was adamant: “We’re not approaching this at all cynically. Our business case requires that we comply.

“But we see the upside.”

NAB’s Davey made similar points.

“We plan to be a significant ingestor in our use of data [from other banks and fintechs].”

Both Westpac and NAB draw comfort with the precedent of the open banking rollout in the UK where, so far at least, the incumbents have gained more than the noisy fintechs.

The challengers will be mindful of research for Data61 that shows only 39 per cent on consumers in a recent study were open-minded about open banking.

“Consumer adoption is going to be low to start with,” said Stuart Stoyan, chair of Fintech Australia.
Twiss, Davey and Stoyan all spoke at an Open Banking event staged by Criterion Conferences.