ACCC on track to launch Consumer Data Right on 1 July

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has confirmed ahead of the revised launch date of the consumer data right (CDR) of July 1, it is on track to launch the production version of its register and accreditation platform in April.

The platform has been touted by the ACCC as the core infrastructure that will be used by accredited banks and fintechs to share data.

“As lead regulator, the ACCC has overall responsibility for the delivery of a trusted and secure ecosystem, and is undertaking a significant testing and assurance program to ensure that at launch the systems operate as intended, deliver the expected functionality, and that they’re safe and secure,” ACCC CDR executive general manager Paul Franklin told the Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology on Friday.

Franklin added that while July 1 may be the upcoming deadline, it’s already looking ahead at expanding CDR to non-major banks in 2021, with intentions to develop a subsequent set of rules that would take effect at “some date to be determined”.

“It’s always been the ACCC’s intention to expand and grow the CDR over time … As part of this, we’re considering appropriate measures to permit the use of intermediaries, the introduction of lower tiers of accreditation where appropriate, expanding the use of outsourced service provider rules, and disclosure of consumer data right data to non-accredited third parties where appropriate.”

See also: Comms Alliance: Banking-focused CDR falls short of telco requirements  

The ACCC finalised the rules that will govern the CDR last month.

It legalises the requirement for Australia’s big four banks to share product reference data — such as interest rates, fees and charges, and eligibility criteria for banking products like credit cards and mortgages — with accredited data recipients.

The ACCC also took the opportunity to defend its position for delaying the CDR launch date, which was initially penned to go live on 1 February 2020, during Friday’s committee hearing.

“I think the revised launch date of July 1 was necessary,” Franklin said.

“There is certainly an issue that the resources available to the data recipients are very much smaller than the resources available to the major banks. That can be a difficult thing. There’s a lot of work to be done. Our job is to make sure that the system works reliably and securely to protect consumer data … we are confident that we’re on track to meet the launch of July 1.”

When questioned whether screen scraping should be allowed to continue after the introduction of CDR, the ACCC CDR general manager Bruce Cooper said to “outlaw screen scraping too early, before CDR had had an opportunity to mature and pick up those additional products and banks, would be disruptive I think both to consumers and to the industry”. 

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