Efficiency of Open Banking system improving

Brandon How

A report from FinTech firm Frollo has revealed an improvement in data sharing through Australia’s Open Banking system.

Frollo operates an Open Banking platform that facilitates the transfer of consumer data shared from banks or neobanks, after given consent from the user. The platform has undertaken around 30 million API calls since Open Banking was launched in 2020.

Frollo chief information officer Tony Thrassis

Analysis through Frollo’s ‘Open Banking application protocol interface (API) performance reporting’ found that the speed of data sharing is improving. In the first quarter of 2022, 22 of the 45 Data Holders included in the analysis were able to share data in less than one second, compared to only 16 Data Holders in 2021.

Further, the reliability of Open Banking participants has improved with the proportion of banks that successfully complete API calls at a rate of 99 per cent or greater increased to 40 per cent, from 22 per cent in 2021.

As of April 2022, there are 72 data holder Open Banking APIs connected to Frollo’s platform. This is up from just 11 in July 2021, however only firms which Frollo has received a significant amount of data from were included in the analysis.

Frollo chief information officer Tony Thrassis said that the data produced in the report was largely in line with expectations, however he noted that there are currently few accredited data recipients (ADR) making data requests.

“The response times in the main for most banks are reasonable. That will suit the use cases that will give consumers benefit, but it’s always the case of more is better,” said Mr Thrassis.

“But there are banks with little data like the new neobanks. What will happen if they’ve got billions of records, will it slow down? What will happen if they’ve got, 20 ADRs accessing at one time will it slow down? These are the things we don’t know so for now, I’d say it’s pretty good, it’s kind of where you expect to be.”

Frollo also investigated the completeness of transaction account data shared by 11 data holders between December 2021 and February 2022. The data holders selected were those that have shared the largest amount of data with Frollo.

They investigated 26 selected data properties. Overall, all the data holders included in the analysis share 15 of the 26 pieces of data, which includes the mandatory set of data. Mr Thrassis said that around 80 per cent of banks were also providing some optional fields. On average, data holders shared 87 per cent of the 26 pieces of data.

Of the data holders, St George Bank provided the most pieces of data, on average sharing 96 per cent of the available 26. NAB shared the least types of data, typically only sharing 69 per cent of the data types.

Speaking about the consumer data right more broadly, which allows the consensual exchange of data, Mr Thrassis called for the government to educate people about the system so that more developers build software taking advantage of the available data.

“Frollo has done 30 million API calls. There’s hardly any [other platforms] live, if there is we’re taking the bulk of it. At the moment we’re having to do the education. We’d like the government to do than just fact sheets,” Mr Thrassis said.

“The way to really educate people, we think is a little bit like in the UK, where the government is giving out grants for use cases to be shown, so businesses can do a working product. That’s a better way of teaching people than just factsheets.”

Further, he added that he wants some of the issues in banking to be fixed before the CDR is expanded to other industries like telecommunications, energy, and finance. In particular, he noted that without service-level agreements (SLAs) in Open Banking, banks are not obliged to improve fix some things in their systems.

“Under an SLA we might raise a ticket saying highlighting an issue as say, medium level importance, and they’d get onto it in eight hours for example. The ACCC does get onto all the participants and push them through but [without an SLA], if the bank doesn’t have the capability because they got an old system, then what can you do?” Mr Thrassis said.

Mr Thrassis also said that an appropriate way to judge the success of the CDR will be to what extent the products based on it are taken up by consumers and not just the number of industries it has been rolled out to.

Going forward, Frollo will produce a report analysing the details of the data it receives rather than just the type of data it is.

Minister for Financial Services and Digital Economy Jane Hume said in February that Australians would begin to feel the “tangible benefits” of the CDR from next year.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

Leave a Comment

Related stories