Happy 1st Birthday to the Consumer Data Right!

Written by Rebecca Schot-Guppy, CEO of FinTech Australia

On Thursday, 1 July 2021, the Consumer Data Right (CDR) will celebrate both its first birthday and its next major milestone.  

We’ve made steady progress and we are now picking up pace.  At the time of writing, there are 12 Accredited Data Recipients and 8 Data Holders with many more parties at various stages in the approval process.  

It has been mandated for all non-major ADIs to share CDR data from 1 July 2021 unless exempted and the growing list of bank exemptions granted by the ACCC is currently longer than the list of approvals.  Whilst this is frustrating for the fintech community, it must be acknowledged that the overall success of the CDR regime requires the banks get it right by opening up robust APIs.  It’s a question of time.

The foundation is there and it’s proven.  Real-time consumer data is being shared, for example, Frollo has made c.9.5 million API calls.  As we embrace future directions such as action-initiation and payments, and as other industries like energy and telco join in, there will be a huge amount of growth and opportunity.   

Judging by the attendance and the number of speakers at Fintech Australia’s marquee Intersekt Festival at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt in May, as well as the many discussions I had during the conference, open banking is very much a hot topic.  

Here are my highlights from the event:

  1. Over 40 guests attended an industry dinner hosted by Intuit at Supernormal vigorously discussing opportunities, challenges and use cases late into the evening
  2. It was standing room only at the round table by Tony Thrassis from Frollo on “Getting Started with Open Banking” where he emphasised the vital importance of knowing your use case, focusing on the journey beyond accreditation to live, and testing that the data you get is operationally valuable 
  3. Rob Hale from Regional Australia Bank and Stuart Low from Biza.io used the analogy of “A Bank and a Fintech go White Water Rafting” to describe their “dream partnership” to secure the bank’s data holder status
  4. Andy Parton and Mike Booth from EY succinctly summarised where we have come from, what we have achieved, and the road ahead with its opportunities for partnerships and new products (including the “killer use case”)
  5. It was also standing room only at the round table by Paul Franklin, Natalie Plumridge and Louise Dobson from the ACCC who shared that it takes about three months to get accredited (after submitting a complete application) and then around two months to onboard and pass conformance testing
  6. TrueLayer’s Head of Australia Brenton Charnley shared valuable insights from the UK as a predictor for Australia with “Say Hello to Open Banking Payments:  the what, the why and the how” and a prediction that, within the next 5 years, open banking payments will be the default way to move money online due to higher conversion, lower costs and better security, and 
  7. In a fireside chat discussing the critical enablers of the digital economy, the CDR’s author Scott Farrell from King & Wood Mallesons commented that inclusion and connection are deliberately recurring themes in his work, Jill Berry from Adatree endorsed the potential to protect vulnerable customers and Amanda Robinson from Australian Red Cross added equity.

Tony Thrassis from Frollo and Rob Hale from Regional Australia Bank deserve a special mention for leading the heavy lifting and championing a mindset of innovation over compliance. 

Australia’s fintechs are working hard to deliver the benefits of the Consumer Data Right to consumers and businesses, including choice, convenience and, most importantly, confidence.   

There’s more work to come as we figure out joint accounts, tiered accreditation, a sponsor/affiliate model and action initiation and Fintech Australia remains committed to being a leading voice on policy.

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