Open banking reforms a boon for fintech

With the new open banking regime now in effect, fintechs are set to reap the rewards of data sharing.

As of July 1, the big banks are now required to share generic product data as part of the government's phased timeline for the introduction of open banking.

Westpac was the first bank to make a formal announcement, embracing the start of open banking and voluntarily sharing some data via an application programming interface (API) for the first time.

Westpac chief data and strategy officer Jamie Twiss assured customers that data security was crucial, and the pilot will be an important step forward for the bank.

"Westpac is focusing on creating a trusted open banking regime that is secure, flexible and easy to use for all Australians," Twiss said.

"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."

The aim of open banking is for customers to have more options to assess and manage their finances and that competition and innovation will be stimulated across the banking sector.

"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," Twiss added.

"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."

The government's timeline for the introduction of open banking suggests customers might have the option to share their banking data as early as February 2020.

Read more: DataWestpacJamie TwissAustralians
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