ANZ bank joins the data republic

James Riley
Editorial Director

ANZ bank has hopped aboard Data Republic’s information sharing platform, joining earlier entrants Westpac and NAB as Australia’s move to an open banking regime speeds up.

Data Republic scores a funding injection from ANZ’s entry, as well as a big, fat new customer. When Qantas, Westpac and NAB came aboard Data Republic’s data sharing platform in May 2016, the trio and Singaporean VC Qualgro assisted in a round of series funding that would grow to about $12 million.

With the ANZ’s entry and further amounts from other investors it is understood that total has grown to somewhere north of $20 million.

Danny Gilligan: ANZ’s involvement in Data Republic another big move toward open banking

Data Republic now has three of the Big Four banks on its platform and it would not be beyond the bounds of speculation for the Commonwealth Bank to follow in the future.

One of the main use cases financial institutions have for Data Republic is having a fast, safe, secure and regulated channel for advanced data analytics by allowing the free flow of information between trusted third parties.

“Using data analytics and insights to deliver better customer outcomes more often is an essential part of how we need to operate in the digital economy,” said ANZ chief data officer Emma Gray in a statement.

“This partnership allows us to get more out of the data we already have, but in a safe and secure environment that provides the highest levels of governance.

“Through the cloud-based platform we will now be able to access trusted experts and other partners to develop useful insights for our customers in hours rather than months,” Ms Gray said. The ANZ will use the system from late March.

The Data Republic system sits on a governance and auditing framework designed by law firm Allens and data contributors need the consent of their customers to exchange data. Each party on the platform has control of what gets exchanged.

Customers can bring their own analytics capabilities to the platform or make use of the open source analytics tools already on the platform.

“Our job is to manage governance,” says Data Republic co-founder Danny Gilligan who is also co-founder and managing director of investor group Reinventure.

“What we sell is governance. There are two big themes driving all of this. One is the opening up of data through commercial pressures and regulatory intervention and on the other hand you’ve increasing regulatory compliance pressures and scrutiny over data protection,” he says.

This month will see the Federal government’s mandatory data breach notification legislation come into effect for organisations with annual revenues over $3 million and government agencies.

“These pressures are difficult for an organisation to manage and that’s where we play. How do you maximise innovation capability around data while also maximising the governance around data.

“People have had to make trade offs around those twin pressures. We are saying you don’t have to make those trade-offs anymore,” says Mr Gilligan.

The Federal government is moving towards an open banking regime with at least read-ony data access expected by the middle of 2019.

“The banks have been doing a lot voluntarily, but open banking is going to massively accelerate that. Now that an open banking regime has got support, the next stop are the telco, energy and other large sectors. People are at different points in the cycle but I think ultimately everyone ends up at the same place.”

Mr Gilligan sees Data Republic as the governance middleware that could help facilitate the open banking regime to come.

Meanwhile, the NSW government is rolling out a data marketplace that uses the Data Republic platform. The service makes a wide range of data sets available and searchable while maintaining the privacy of those who the data relates to.

Mr Gilligan believes the NSW move will see data wrangling help find new approaches to talking social problems.

“A lot of old problems can now be tackled in new ways through data. Like how do we reduce fraud in CTP (compulsory third party) and workers compensation insurance? That’s a data problem,” Mr Gilligan says of the NSW initiative.

“How do we get better risk signalling around domestic violence or childhood obesity or social isolation. There’s a lot of data that can signal those problems and help the government and not-for-profit sectors be more effective,” he said.

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