Senate makes 32 recommendations for fintech

by Madison Utley07 Sep 2020

Over ten months on from having been established, the Senate Committee into Fintech and Regtech has released its conclusions and recommendations for the sectors, spanning a range of topics including the rollout of open banking.

Australia’s premier fintech body, FinTech Australia, has welcomed the outcome, acknowledging that a number of the committee’s conclusions directly reflected the group’s submissions and suggestions.

“We thank the committee for the collaborative approach it has taken and for the open and constructive dialogue we’ve had with its members,” said FinTech Australia CEO Rebecca Schot-Guppy.

“We also want to thank our members for their contributions to our submissions, which ensured all collateral given to the committee truly reflected the perspective of the fintech industry.”

Schot-Guppy voiced her appreciation the recommendations acknowledge that Australia being able to participate with fintechs on a global scale is contigent on a clear regulatory framework guiding the rollout of the consumer data right (CDR), also known as open banking.

“We are pleased to see the committee agree with our suggestion to run a well-timed advertising campaign to raise consumer awareness of the Consumer Data Right and drive competition,” she said.

“Again, timing will be key here, as we need to ensure there are adequate effective services in place for the messaging around the promises further competition brought about by the CDR to truly sink in.”

However, while the recommendations were a step in the right direction, there remains significant work to be done regarding open banking, as seen by FinTech Australia.

“We urge the government to strongly consider the recommendation to introduce a new body to govern the rollout of this policy. This is a best practice approach we have seen successfully implemented in both Singapore and the UK,” said Schot-Guppy.

“The fintech industry is also eager to see the ACCC speed up its investigation into intermediary access into the CDR, as recommended by the committee. We have consistently argued the intermediary approach is the best way to ensure widespread adoption and the best consumer outcomes from the CDR policy.”

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has also welcomed the 32 recommendations given they will help make permanent the innovation spurred on during the COVID-19 crisis and thus “modernising Australia’s regulatory environment”.

“We congratulate the committee on its valuable work and contributions. Should the government adopt these measures, we would see a boost to Australia’s prosperity along with enhanced global opportunities for local businesses, investors and workers,” said ACS President, Dr Ian Oppermann.

“The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated how digital technologies have become essential to delivering traditional goods and services.

“By embracing a regulatory framework putting digital services first, the federal government can ensure Australian business and society can reap the benefits of 21st century technologies,” he concluded.