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Media Center

With media teams throughout North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, we ensure journalists, bloggers and social savvy sharers get the same first class service as our SMEs and organizations.

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If you are a journalist and would like to speak to the Media team reach out to us:

Cristina Hoole 
Western Union
+44 (0) 776-607-0978

News Releases

Unpacking open banking in Australia

Open banking – what’s it all about?

By: Alan Verschoyle-King, Global Head of Financial Institutions, Payments, Western Union

Open Banking is a system of secure data exchange between institutions so that no one organisation can effectively own an individual’s data. It involves unbundling internal bank data and processes for external parties via an application programming interface, or API.

Following a recommendation from the Productivity Commission in 2017, the federal government announced the introduction of a Consumer Data Right (CDR) as part of the 2017 federal budget, which formally gives consumers ownership of their data and makes switching between financial institutions easier. The CDR will be implemented in Australia under the open banking framework from July 2019.

As jurisdictions around the world begin implementing open banking reform, banks and non-banks are presented with a range of challenges and opportunities.

The challenges and opportunities of open banking

PWC’s Future of payments in Australia report identifies five main forces that are shaping the new world of payments in Australia, including a stronger customer demand for greater personalisation, and the need for financial institutions to nurture more customer-centric business models.

Perhaps the most significant opportunity of open banking will be the control awarded to consumers over how their data is used, including an ability to dictate who provides which services and how they provide them, while also having the freedom to switch to an alternative provider more easily.

Under the new open banking system, consumers will be able to access and share their data so that it can be analysed and presented to them in a way that adds value and provides useful guidance on how they should manage their finances.

This will foster a data economy that can be used to enhance the experiences of both consumers and institutions, providing unparalleled insights into what consumers need and want so that providers can deliver more personalised banking experiences.

Open banking reform will also nurture a more level-playing field for fintechs and non-banks entering the financial services system, improving overall competition and innovation.

However, with greater amounts of data exchange come inherent risks and the need for a security-first mindset. Organisations must equip themselves with the right tools to successfully navigate compliance, including secure APIs to connect with a banking ecosystem that facilitates safe data sharing.

Western Union works to strengthen the world’s financial system, committing 20 percent of its current workforce to compliance, and using big data, AI, machine learning and robotics to study consumer behaviours and identify patterns globally to detect transactional anomalies.

Coupled with the ongoing digitisation of the financial services industry, one key challenge for institutions will be the depersonalisation of the client-provider relationship. Consumers will enjoy the freedom of shopping around for the right provider, potentially at the expense of customer loyalty.

As the financial services landscape changes, businesses must continue to innovate through new partnerships and networks. Collaboration between industry players will minimise risk, improve operational efficiencies and invite a wider selection of businesses to get involved.

Read the entire article at Fintech Business