Govt sinks another $20m into consumer data right

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Govt sinks another $20m into consumer data right

For ACCC, Treasury to progress scheme.

The federal government has handed Treasury and Australia’s competition regulator $19.2 million to continue the implementation of the consumer data right over the next 12 months.

The new funding, revealed in the government’s 2020 economic and fiscal update on Thursday, comes just weeks after the first stage of the scheme went live for the major banks.

Under the scheme, bank customers can request that data pertaining to their deposit and transaction accounts and credit or debit cards be shared with accredited data recipients.

While there were only two accredited data recipients at launch, a further 39 are currently in the approval pipeline.

An expansion of the scheme later this year will see consumers able to share data relating to home loans, investment loans, personal loans and joint accounts.

Around $6.6 million of the new funding will be used by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to “continue to progress key elements of the consumer data right”.

The majority of the additional funding, however, will flow to Treasury, which will use $12.6 million to “support an information and awareness campaign to introduce CDR” and help “drive uptake”.

The new funding builds on an undisclosed wad of cash provided over three years in last year’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) for the ACCC to develop the CDR.

This funding was to cover “testing and assurance activities with the major banks prior to the initial rollout of the open banking component of CDR in 2020” [pdf].

The CDR was originally funded with $44.6 million over four years in the 2018-19 budget, which included $20.2 million for the ACCC and $12.9 million for the Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

Additional funding was also provided in the 2018-19 MYEFO.

Treasury is currently scoping future directions for the scheme, including the possibility of “write access”, which banks have expressed a range of concerns about.

According to Treasury, write access could allow third parties “to change or add to data about a customer at the customer’s direction and with their consent”. 

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