As 2019 drew to an end, the ACCC announced a postponement to the implementation of open banking to make time for additional testing to ensure security and privacy protections are operating effectively.
The Consumer Data Right (CDR) is still expected to first go into effect in the banking sector; however, certain aspects of the reform have been pushed back from their scheduled February 2020 start date.
Rather, from 1 July 2020, consumers will be able to direct major banks to share their credit and debit card, deposit account and transaction account data with accredited service providers.
From 1 November 2020, consumers’ mortgage and personal loan data will be able to be shared.
“The CDR is a complex, but fundamental competition and consumer reform, and we are committed to delivering it only after we are confident the system is resilient, user friendly and properly tested,” said ACCC commissioner Sarah Court.
“Robust privacy protection and information security are core features of the CDR and establishing appropriate regulatory settings and IT infrastructure cannot be rushed.”
CDR is intended to increase competition, especially for more complex products and services, while also enabling businesses to create more tailored offerings for consumers.
Poli Konstantinidis, Experian A/NZ executive GM of credit services and decision analytics, has welcomed the delay.
“Based on our experience in the UK, we have always believed the implementation of CDR [in Australia] needed to be exercised with care, so we welcome this considered approach to the CDR rollout,” he said.
“The additional time available should be used to increase the awareness of open data among Australians," he added.
However, while the ACCC’s caution has felt appropriate to this point, Konstantinidis made it clear it cannot be indefinitely pushed back.
“Greater data sharing will see the ownership of customer data put back in the hands of Australians and give them the power to access better deals, so while a true open data environment may be delayed for now, it’s vital CDR is implemented effectively and regulated properly so consumers can have access to the wide ranging benefits,” he said.