Open data demands a double-edged sword for fintechs, ANZ says

Calls for banks to make data more available could further entrench their dominance, fintechs warned

Calls for Australia’s biggest banks to open up access to customer data could prove a double-edged sword for the fintech industry and further entrench the dominance of the ‘Big Four’, says ANZ’s general manager of data, Darren Abbruzzese.

Established banks have come under increased pressure to expose customer and transaction data via APIs in recent months. In November the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics recommended to government that ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and National Australia Bank be forced to open up access to consumer data by July next year.

The Review of the Four Major Banks was followed by a draft Productivity Commission report into open data that proposed individuals be given more control over the data collected about them and be able to transfer it between financial services providers more easily.

Cuts both ways

Although the measures have been generally welcomed by the local fintech sector, Abbruzzese warned in a blog post this week that “competition cuts both ways”.

“Ironically the package of measures overall may end up being a double-edged sword for fintech. On one hand open data and open banking will make it far easier for fintech to enter the market and compete," he wrote.

“But on the other hand, the measures aimed at improving bank behaviour, complaint handling and accountability may bolster community satisfaction and trust in existing banks, further entrenching their dominant market share.”

Lack of trust

In its recent report the Standing Committee on Economics also recommended (PDF) the barriers of entry to the banking sector be lowered to promote competition.

But consumers lacked trust in new entrants to the industry, Abbruzzese argued, citing the example of the UK which introduced easier licensing requirements in 2013.

“Despite their fresh approach and modern technology, these new entrants lack a key intangible asset that established banks have: trust. In spite of recent crisis and fines, customers still trust banking institutions as a destination for their personal and financial data, and with trust comes customer stickiness,” Abbruzesse wrote.

In the last few years ANZ has actively engaged with the Australian fintech sector, backing the likes of Sydney fintech hub Stone and Chalk and Melbourne start-up incubator York Butter ­Factory. It has made a limited number of APIs available via its Developer Hub and in July then-CIO Scott Collary said that ANZ wanted to be “a more open bank” (Collary departed the bank late last year).

“The thing to watch over the next few years will be whether existing banks can modernise their backend and adapt to a digital world faster than fintechs can build a brand and a trusted reputation to match their high-tech platforms,” Abbruzzese wrote. “And whether the two sides might figure out some way to work together.”

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags anz bankCBAProductivity CommissionWestpacCommonwealth Bank of AustraliaHouse of RepresentativesAPIsNABNational Australia Bankfintechfintech hubANZopen data

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
George Nott

George Nott

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?