Westpac launches secure 'data banking' platform

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Westpac launches secure 'data banking' platform

In partnership with Sydney start-up Data Republic.

Westpac will offer secure data storage services through a new platform associated with its equity stake in Australian data exchange start-up Data Republic.

The bank quietly announced the launch of its new Databank platform earlier this month.

The service will offer Data Republic customers secure identity data management, with the information stored in a "bank-grade" secure environment within Westpac's infrastructure and network.

"This significantly reduces the risk of identity theft, customer data breaches, or security, privacy and consent issues that can occur with identity data storage and sharing," Westpac said in a statement.

The bank said it would not analyse or exchange data, with the platform intended to give other organisations a "safe and secure place" to store their data.

"[Databank] provides the infrastructure for organisations wishing to adopt best practices, and manage identity data risk in one of the safest environments available. These organisations can then assure their customers about the security of their identity data," Westpac’s chief strategy officer Gary Thursby said in a statement.

Data Republic and Databank will handle data sharing separately. Identity data will be managed by the Westpac service where Data Republic will deal with client transaction data - "separating, encrypting and storing customer identities away from attribute related data sets," Data Republic CEO Paul McCarney said in a statement.

Westpac was one of a handful of companies to take a combined $10.5 million equity stake in the Sydney-based Data Republic start-up in May this year, alongside NAB and Qantas.

At the time Westpac revealed it was working on a data banking service that would allow its customers to securely store their data on the bank's infrastructure while exchanging data with other organisations.

Data Republic's governance and auditing framework was designed by law firm Allens. It requires consent from customers for organisations to exchange data and provides full transparency over data exchange and use.

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