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Tuesday 19 March 2019


A third of Australians willing to share bank data

Written by Peter Walker

Almost a third of Australians are willing to share their personal data under the new Open Banking regime, but only if privacy and security concerns are addressed.

An online survey conducted on behalf of Unisys among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults across various Asia Pacific countries, also found that Australian consumers are less willing than those in other Asia Pacific countries to embrace new bank services based on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

The Australian Government will phase in Open Banking by 1 July 2019, after the findings of a Treasury review were accepted last month, despite some opposition from banks and trade associations.

The new rules will mandate that banks share data with other organisations to offer new services to customers and potentially new revenue streams.

Thirty one per cent of Australians support their bank sharing their personal data with other companies to access financial products, according to the research. However, 34 per cent don't support it, citing concerns about privacy and security.

Of those who do not support data sharing, 67 per cent said it was because they want to protect their privacy, while 45 per cent were concerned about the other company's security measures, compared to only 35 per cent being concerned about the bank's security measures.

“For Open Banking to take off in Australia, banks must address customer concerns about how they protect their customer data – not just in the bank, but across all of the departments, partners and agencies in the value chain,” explained Richard Parker, vice president financial services at Unisys Asia Pacific.

The survey also revealed that while Australian bank customers are the least comfortable overall with their bank using software algorithms to access eligibility for credit cards and home loans, younger generations are much more willing than those aged over 50 years.

The type of transaction also impacts willingness: 42 per cent of Australians are comfortable with their bank using software and algorithms to assess online credit card applications, whereas only 29 per cent were willing to use this for home loans.

“Younger consumers are driving the demand for better online bank services in Australia – this generational pull is stronger here than in the other countries surveyed,” said Parker. “As a result, traditional banks are facing increasing competition from online FinTech lenders.

“There is a great opportunity for banks to embrace the FinTech approach and use smart software to lead decision making for commodity products such as credit cards,” he added.

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