Open banking will need a revolution in trust: Moneytree

  • New white paper puts forward case for privacy and transparency standards across the Australian financial services sector
  • New free app to enable Australians better manage their financial life

SYDNEY: Australia should develop standards for privacy and transparency across the entire financial services sector if it wants to realise the full potential of an open banking regime, according to a white paper released by Moneytree.

The Federal Government has confirmed its plans to introduce an open banking regime, which will pave the way for unprecedented connectivity across the financial services sector and with consumers. But Moneytree asserts that data sharing initiatives in Australia will fail unless consumers trust how their data is being used.

“People make the mistake of thinking this is about technology when it is actually about a revolution in trust,”

said Moneytree CEO Paul Chapman, author of the white paper.

“There is no doubt the potential benefits to consumers of more accessible financial data are tremendous and will be transformational. However, most people don’t understand how their data is being used now, and an open banking regime could create greater confusion.

“It is important that Australia implements an open banking regime in a way that promotes and safeguards consumer trust and allows people to feel in control,”

Mr Chapman said.

Drawing on experience from Japan, where Moneytree has successfully founded a permission-based data sharing platform, Moneytree LINK, Mr Chapman said people will share their financial data – as long as it is on their own terms and is secure.

“When we started Moneytree, we decided to be absolutely transparent and radically upfront with people. This approach has earned us the trust of millions of users, and has given some of Japan’s biggest financial institutions the confidence to partner with us”,

he said.

Moneytree has outlined standards of privacy and transparency it believes would be beneficial for Australia, to generate broad and ongoing support from the community.

The standards pertain to data sales, communication, and opt-in/opt-out arrangements and include:

Moneytree has outlined standards of privacy and transparency it believes would be beneficial for Australia, to generate broad and ongoing support from the community.

The standards pertain to data sales, communication, and opt-in/opt-out arrangements and include:

  • Data sales: Sale of customer data should be avoided. Operators who do sell data should be required to inform customers exactly to whom their data has been sold and the exact purpose for which the data will be used.
  • Communication: Privacy policies should be written in the ‘language of users’. not legalese. Important notifications should be in real time – not just at sign up.
  • Explicit opt-in: People should have a sense of control over their data and should be able to explicitly opt-in at all points of the product/ service lifecycle.
  • Unified opt-out: Where consent is given for data to be shared, it is common to receive approaches from ‘partner’ companies. People should have a choice whether to opt-in with each partner, and should be able to opt-out via the service where the data was first shared.

Development of standards would be through collaboration between Fintech companies and Australian financial institutions, with feedback from regulators and could take the form of a straightforward code, so as not to stifle innovation or be burdensome to manage.

Launch of free app

Mr Chapman said Australians have a ‘fragmented’ financial life, with their financial data held by different institutions in different places. However, Moneytree’s free personal financial management app enables people to see all their financial data - savings, loans, credit cards, loyalty cards, super and shares - from different providers in one place. The app will launch in Australia this month.

“The app gives people full portability of their financial data over their lifetime, enabling them to better manage their finances and more easily interact with financial providers”, he said. “We have applied these principles of privacy and transparency to the app - data is not sold, and there is no marketing or advertising.”

The app was introduced in Japan in 2013 and now has over 1,400,000 users on iOS, Android, and the web, and was awarded Apple’s App Store “Best of” in 2013 and 2014.

Moneytree will also seek to establish partnerships with Australian financial institutions and will continue to maintain neutrality with regards to partner type, vertical, and size.

A copy of Moneytree’s white paper is attached.

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About Moneytree

Moneytree KK was founded in 2012 in Japan with the mission of bringing consumers, small businesses, and banks closer together. It launched in Australia in 2017.

The Moneytree mobile app gives people a holistic view of all their financial data in one place on mobile and desktop.

Moneytree LINK was launched in 2015 and has over twenty institutional customers and partner companies. Japanese ‘mega banks’ Mizuho Bank Ltd and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have adopted Moneytree LINK, with leading regional banks Yokohama Bank and Senshu Ikeda also on the platform. Moneytree LINK also powers solutions from ten accounting software providers, making it the leading platform in the Japanese accounting industry.

Moneytee’s investors include all three Japanese “Megabanks,” SBI and Salesforce.com. Moneytree has also partnered with IBM as its first official Fintech API partner in Japan, and was the first Japan-founded company selected for MasterCard’s Start Path accelerator program.

Please address media inquiries to: Eric Robledo Honner TEL: +61 02 8248 3739 E-mail: [email protected]