ANZ prototypes 21 new apps in three-day open banking sprint

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ANZ prototypes 21 new apps in three-day open banking sprint

Ramps up preparations for new regime.

ANZ Banking Group has ramped up its open banking preparations by running a three-day innovation challenge that generated 21 new apps ideas.

The bank held an ‘Innovation Challenge on Open Banking’ through last week, bringing together around 125 staff from across the institution to come up with new digital experiences built in Google cloud.

“The challenge was for our people to form small teams (4-7 people) to come up with ideas around open banking; to solve real customer problems and to help shape ANZ’s response to this new area of opportunity,” an ANZ spokesperson told iTnews.

“The event ran over three days (plus two preparatory training sessions). There were 21 teams and more than 125 participants. 

“While no specific technical skills were required, it was important that at least one or two in each team had some key skills as a designer, diplomat or digitiser.”

A key part of the challenge was that 70 ANZ customers - 25 face-to-face and 45 online - were able to test the ideas. In addition, the ideas were put to an internal judging panel.

ANZ was officially coy on what exactly had come out of the process.

“The best ideas will be fed into how we think about our open banking roadmap, which will consider how we can incorporate open banking data into new ANZ digital experiences and services,” the spokesperson said.

But some publicly-accessible clues were provided.

One app called Supa Coach promised “a finance app that does the thinking for you”; another app offered to “find recipients you’ve paid with other financial institutions”; a third app offered to present businesses a consolidated view of banking arrangements and expenses incurred in each of those accounts; a fourth app involved some form of blockchain integration into an ANZ mobile app.

All teams appeared to develop and prototype apps in a Google cloud platform environment, based on participant feedback.

Coming next year, open banking - and the associated consumer data right (CDR) - is intended to give customers control over their banking data, allowing them to take it with them if they switch banks, or more likely to consent to sharing it with third-party apps that could help them manage their finances. 

Banks are looking to develop their own native apps, which could benefit customers but also the banks since the significant reserves of financial data they hold would stay in-house.

The three-day event is just one avenue of preparation pursued by ANZ.

Elsewhere, ANZ’s head of open banking Richard Hough presented to University of Sydney “students on open banking innovation potential and privacy considerations” last month.

“In this great multidisciplinary course students over 12 weeks will come up with innovative ideas, and consider [the] implications of open data, then present back at ANZ offices,” Hough said in a LinkedIn post.

ANZ has also previously said it is testing open banking use cases with Data Republic, operator of an intercompany data exchange platform.

It suggested at the time that Data Republic could play a role in securely hosting snapshots of de-identified transactional and time series data that can be used for trial runs of new software or algorithms.

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