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Unlocking opportunities in the era of open data and payments

Under the government’s Digital Economy Strategy Australia is set to become “a leading digital economy and society by 2030”, with the Consumer Data Right (CDR) one of several initiatives designed to establish the right foundations to grow the digital economy.

Integrated data and technologies will make life easier for consumers and businesses, but enterprises face the challenges integrating legacy systems and infrastructure with real-time digital ecosystems. Cuscal can help enterprises bridge this gap, deploying new capabilities that support the collection, sharing, management and storage of consumer consent and CDR data. While our position at the centre of payments – as the leading provider of New Payment Platform (NPP) payment services to banks and payment service providers – means we are ideally positioned to help enterprises unlock new growth opportunities from the convergence of data and payment initiation services.

This white paper provides senior leaders and product owners with insights into some of the regulatory, technology, security and capabilities required to comply with the CDR today and how to unlock opportunities from the convergence of data and payments.

In this white paper you’ll learn more about:

  • What the CDR is, how it has evolved and what future legislative change may mean for Data Holders in designated industries, as well as for accredited Data Recipients;
  • How NPP capabilities are being enhanced and extended through the development of the PayTo service, supporting ‘write’ access for third party payment initiation from bank accounts in real-time, as envisaged under CDR;
  • What enterprises should consider to enable data-centric strategies that integrate with the CDR and real-time payments, and how Cuscal capabilities and payment expertise can facilitate participation across ecosystems;
  • Use cases demonstrating some of the ways in which the CDR and payment initiation can be applied to make life easier for consumers and businesses;
  • How Cuscal is assisting clients participate in the CDR with access to a suite of secure and robust capabilities for the collection, sharing, management and storage of data subject to CDR legislation; and
  • How Cuscal is enabling payment initiation services that are align with CDR and NPP PayTo frameworks for banks, payment service providers, fintechs and enterprises.

If you’d like to know more about how Cuscal can support your business participate in the CDR ecosystem and with real-time PayTo payment initiation, call 1300 650 501 or submit an enquiry.

Download the White Paper [PDF, 10 MB]

Cuscal announces membership of FDATA Australasia

Cuscal becomes a member of FDATA

Sydney, 18 March 2021 – Cuscal announced today that it will become the latest member of the Australasia chapter of the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA). Membership of FDATA will provide Cuscal with valuable advisory, regulatory and industry engagement opportunities through FDATA’s deep knowledge of Open Finance, network of global experts and position on working groups, advisory panels and task forces.

As a Consumer Data Right (CDR) intermediary, Cuscal is committed to supporting data holders, consumers and data recipients to connect safely and securely to unlock the value of data. Cuscal’s Collaborative Data Exchange will manage the technicalities of the CDR for data holders and data recipients, leaving enterprise to focus on one of the most powerful opportunities in Australian commerce. Forward intelligence from FDATA on key policy matters, changes and trends from Australia and across the globe will form part of the Collaborative Data Exchange’s program of continuous development, helping clients to respond to changes in the CDR, including the emergence of new regulation, expansion of the CDR to new designated industries, and updates to data-standards.

Commenting on Cuscal’s membership of the regional chapter, Richard Prior, CEO of FDATA, said:

FDATA is delighted to welcome Cuscal to our worldwide community of members. As Open Finance proliferates across the globe, FDATA shares Cuscal’s goal of enabling the future, supporting the delivery of Open Finance for Australia, and the enormous potential and ambition enshrined in the CDR.

Kieran McKenna, Chief Risk Officer at Cuscal, commented:

We’re delighted to be joining FDATA Australasia at this critical moment during the implementation of Open Banking in Australia. Through our membership we’re looking forward to representing the interest of our clients and engaging with FDATA’s community of members, the government, regulators, policy makers and other stakeholders to help guide the formulation of policies relating to Open Banking and Open Finance in Australia.

The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) is a not-for-profit representing fintechs operating in Open Banking and Open Finance. FDATA work with government, policy makers, and regulators to implement a fair and ethical competitive landscape that promotes competition, innovation, and better consumer outcomes.

About Cuscal
For more than 50 years Cuscal has championed competition in banking and payments in Australia, leveraging our scale, banking knowledge, technical expertise and regulatory experience to deliver reliable and secure solutions that supports the flow of transactional data between customers and enterprises, ensuring fair access to the Australian payments and banking ecosystem.

Media contact
Simone Shields,

Product reference data sharing obligations commence for ADIs

Looking up at buildings in city at as sun is setting

Sydney, 1 October 2020 – Mandatory product reference data sharing obligations commenced today for non-major authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs), covering non-major banks, building societies and credit unions, and the non-primary brands of the major banks.

In compliance with the relevant laws, Rules and Data Standards for the Consumer Data Right (CDR), Cuscal has partnered with a number of clients, including Australian Unity Bank Limited, Bank Australia Limited and Bank of Sydney Ltd, to develop solutions that support compliance with product reference data obligations.

Commenting on clients achieving compliance with the first stage of CDR obligations, Cuscal CCO Bianca Bates said:

Despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been able to work closely with our clients to successfully implement solutions supporting the disclosure of product reference data to the market. In some cases services have been implemented within as little as three weeks, ensuring clients have been able to comply with the timelines set by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

We are proud that Australian Unity, Bank Australia and Bank of Sydney chose to partner with Cuscal to deliver this first Open Banking milestone and look forward to supporting them, and our other clients, unlock data to capture new opportunities for growth created by the CDR.

About Cuscal’s Open Banking services
Cuscal’s product reference data APIs form the foundations of a larger economy-wide Collaborative Data Exchange platform that Cuscal is developing in partnership with clients. The Collaborative Data Exchange will provide clients with a modular and flexible service that takes care of CDR compliance obligations and also unlocks greater data enablement opportunities.

Cuscal’s vision is to offer clients a simplified, modular and scalable technology platform that is extensible and interoperable across industries and partners, providing clients the freedom to:

  • implement their organisational data strategies and ambitions;
  • unlock legacy data stores to ensure greater flexibility regarding the use of existing data;
  • combine existing data with external sources, including cross-industry information, to derive valuable customer insights that support the delivery of personalised customer experiences;
  • build on platform functionality and apply APIs to novel new use cases with minimal capital investment and business disruption; and
  • innovate and partner with third parties of their choice to offer new data enabled experiences to customers.

Media contact
Jo Savill,

Managing consumer consent in a digital economy

Consent management will be a critical function for the successful rollout and uptake of the Consumer Data Right (CDR). In order to meet regulatory obligations, organisations will be required to demonstrate that they have have in place secure and robust consent management capabilities and infrastructure that ensures they can:

  • Safely and securely share consumer data;
  • Efficiently manage customer consent preferences;
  • Maintain customer privacy; and
  • Meet the evolving compliance requirements of the CDR.

This is essential to establishing and maintain consumer trust and for realising the objectives of the CDR.

Watch the video for more on the role of consent management in a digital economy.

Product Data Store – foundational open data capabilities

From October 2020, all Australian authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) will be required to begin sharing Product Reference Data.

Bank rates, fees and the features of banking products covered by Consumer Data Right (CDR) legislation must be available to be automatically accessed in machine readable format in order for ADIs to be compliant with this first major Open Banking milestone. However, operational workflows and technology constraints can present challenges to the streamlined flow of this product data.

Cuscal’s Product Data Store forms part of our flexible and modular approach to Open Banking, providing organisations with an end-to-end, managed solution that takes care of CDR compliance obligations and realisation of the value-added opportunities enabled by the CDR.

Getting your business ready for Open Banking

Open Banking is coming to Australia. When it arrives it will fundamentally change the way financial institutions manage and control their customer data. This will be the first step toward an ‘open data’ future which will also have ramifications for companies in other industry sectors and the broader Australian economy.

While there is certainty that Open Banking is coming, everything else is less clear. The obligations and corresponding opportunities are complex, evolving rapidly and the business cost of making the wrong decision is high.

To help companies with their Open Banking strategy, Cuscal, KPMG and King & Wood Mallesons jointly published a white paper and held a public webcast to discuss the key issues facing companies implementing Open Banking and looking to participate in an open data economy.

What the webcast covers?

  • What organisations should consider as part of their Open Banking strategy
  • What we can learn from open data regimes overseas
  • Examples of Open Banking innovation which have relevance in Australia
  • How to approach the compliance obligations while taking advantage of the opportunities

Open Banking is much more than a compliance exercise

Open Banking and open data

The economic, regulatory and technology landscape in banking and payments is constantly changing. This can lead some people to a kind of change fatigue, where each change is just another one for the pile. While this view is understandable, it can lead you to underestimate the impact of those changes which have much greater and longer-lasting impact. There is one change, coming soon, which will completely reshape banking and payments. I’m talking, of course, about Open Banking – the first application of the Consumer Data Right facilitating an economy-wide consumer-directed data transfer system.

What will this mean in terms of competition?

In the digital age there are heightened expectations about “experience” and how various elements of our life can be seamlessly integrated. An environment of open data, applied in a reciprocal manner, is essential to meeting these heightened expectations. Over time, we think that organisations that are unable to both facilitate and leverage open data will risk becoming irrelevant.

If you think about retail banking today, the ability to compete on product differentiation, price or distribution is very limited. Customer experience remains the greatest opportunity to compete.

This is one of the things that many of Cuscal’s banking clients do incredibly well and are rightfully proud of. However, the digital experience that their customers have has to be constantly improved and refined and the effective application of consumer data will be absolutely key to the future of their success in this area.

When is the right time to enable Open Banking?

It may be tempting to sit back and wait for more progress and certainty in relation to Open Banking and open data. I don’t think this approach is the right one for most financial institutions.

It’s going to be next to impossible to get the timing exactly right for Open Banking.

You will likely either be too early or too late in relation to Open Banking, so you will need to make a deliberate choice about which of these outcomes you want for your organisation.

If you decide to be early, it’s important to move on from compliance-type-thinking towards thinking about the opportunity to compete, enhance the relevance of your organisation and improve your relationship with your customers.

Collaboration will be the key.

The nascent open data economy will be big, complex and uncertain. Exactly how things will develop over time is unclear. I don’t think any single organisation has all of the skills and resources needed to fully maximise this opportunity. Partnering with complementary organisations across the Open Banking value chain, to solve a specific problem or remove friction points, will be crucial to success.

There are a number of related developments that also need to be taken into consideration to create value for customers and enable safe and efficient access to data, such as digital ID, consent management, and the role that NPP may play in Open Banking and open data. We expect developments around open data to progress to payment initiation over time, as they have in other areas.

Just as we have done with the New Payments Platform and The Pays (Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay) Cuscal will leverage our strengths across payments data exchange and the development of innovative customer-focused mobile solutions to enable clients to participate in Open Banking, providing support across multiple areas in the lead up to implementation and beyond.

To fulfil the ambition of the ACCC and Treasury of giving customers more control over their information, choice in their banking and convenience in managing their money we will provide clients and others with an opportunity to leverage economies of scale and multi-client solutions to interact with the open data economy.

We are at the beginning of an “always on” and “open data” world. Empowering people to take control, and maximise the utility of, their data will be the foundation of this future.

Read our white paper (published in collaboration with King & Wood Mallesons and KPMG) to find out more of our thinking.

By Craig Kennedy, Managing Director of Cuscal

Open Banking deep dive with Scott Farrell

Scott Farrell, Partner KWM gave a snapshot of the Australian Government’s review of Open Banking in Australia at Curious Thinkers 2018 in Sydney.

Scott outlined how open banking is designed to give customers greater control over their data, giving them more choice in banking and convenience in managing their money.

He discussed how open banking is part of consumers’ broader data rights in Australia. The consumer data right will first apply to the banking sector, with others sectors set to follow.

Brett Miller (Data Action), Danny Gilligan (Data Republic), Ian Pollari (KPMG), & Vanessa Chapman (NPPA) joined Scott in an open banking panel discussion where they discussed the challenges of the timeline for open banking regulation in Australia, the opportunities it presents and the role FinTechs will play in open banking.

Watch the open banking deep dive video to learn more.