In a submission to the current Productivity Commission inquiry into Data Availability and Use, EFTPOS provider Tyro Payments said Australia must move quickly on its data rules if it wants to become a global fintech hub.

Tyro co-founder Andrew Rothwell said the UK and the European Union are “well advanced” when it comes to open data and open API (application programming interface), and that Australian is “lagging behind”.

“If Australia is late in delivering open data and open API reforms in this country, the fintech revolution will take place elsewhere,” Mr Rothwell said.

“Customers are currently being locked out of financial services products and solutions such as alternative lenders or comparison, advisory, financial management and payment services that are designed specifically to meet their needs by innovators who can deliver,” he said.

Customer transaction data “belongs to the customer”, he said.

“Banks should be forced to give their customers the right and the ability to share that data with third parties that are licensed under the APRA or who have an Australian financial services licence or an Australian credit licence,” Mr Rothwell said.

“By refusing to allow customers to make their data and accounts available to regulated third parties, banks will continue to control the snail’s pace of innovation in Australia – to the detriment of the Australian consumer,” he said.

Banks wouldn't necessarily be the losers from a more open data world, Mr Rothwell said – in fact, it could enable them to become more of a ‘platform’ for other services.

“Once fintech innovators have been granted permission to analyse, integrate and share data as consumers see fit, they will unleash a vast wave of new products that will give consumers more choice, while increasing the value of their existing products,” he said.

“This industry is going to revolutionise how consumers and businesses interact in the future.

“If Australia is going to become the next fintech hub of Asia, that revolution needs to happen here,” Mr Rothwell said.

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