Open Banking in Australia

Finance is changing in Australia. Find out what open banking is and how it affects you.

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What is open banking?

Open banking is going to give you control of the data banks and financial institutions hold on you. Right now, it's difficult for you to get a hold of your full financial data and for banks to send that data to each and to other companies. This makes it difficult to find the best product or service for you and also to switch to new products and services.

Open banking will allow you to direct your data to be sent to other banks, financial institutions and authorised organisations when you want to. You control who holds your data and how it is used.

Why does open banking matter?

Open banking puts you back in control of your data. It will allow you to tell banks to transfer your data to other banks or companies in order to compare products or sign up for new products more easily.

Having better access to your data will allow you to make better and more informed choices about the financial products that are right for you. It will also drive competition within the financial services sector, promoting innovation and allowing new and better products and services to be developed.

Which organisations can I send my data to and from?

Authorised deposit-taking institutions (banks) will be automatically included in open banking. Other companies able to receive and hold data will need to be authorised in order to accept and hold data through open banking. This is so they adhere to the security standards set by the government.

What's an example of how open banking will work?

There are myriad possibilities for open banking. One is signing up for a new product. Right now, it's easier to sign up for a product such as a loan or credit card with your current bank because they have all of your transaction history and identification documents in their system. With open banking, you will be able to direct that your bank sends that information to any bank or lender so that signing up for a new product will be just as easy anywhere.

How much will open banking cost me?

Open banking will be free for all consumers.

Is sharing my financial data safe?

Safety has been the main concern of the open banking debate. Financial institutions and other companies that participate in open banking will need to adhere to strict security standards when accessing and storing your data and will be subject to the privacy act. These organisations will also only be able to access your data at your request and do what you want with it.

When is open banking happening in Australia?

Open banking began on 1 July 2019. This is the date the Big Four banks – CommBank, NAB, ANZ and Westpac – started to provide data for beta testing of the system. You will be able to access transaction account, credit and debit card, deposit account and mortgage account data from February 2020. You can see the timeline above for other types of data and when the other banks are required to provide access.

Is Australia the only country to do it?

No. The UK has mandated open banking, with the sharing of customer and transaction data via open APIs having been in operation since 1 January 2018.

The European Union has also mandated open banking, with payment initiation and account data retrieval by third parties having come in effect in May 2018.

Various other countries, including the US and Singapore, are taking steps towards open banking, data sharing and open APIs.

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