The open banking initiative here in Australia, like other similar initiatives around the world, should be understood as a part of a much broader discussion and effort to create open economies. As these changes play out in banking and finance we’ll see analogous change play through the media, telecommunications and other sectors over time.
It comes back to the customer experience. For example, as a customer, I want/expect access to my information, that is the data the bank has collected on me while I’ve used ANZ products (such as credit card purchases). That information can lead to new insights and opportunities. As a customer wishing to get on top of my money or better manage my spending with different companies, I'd like to be able to do that on my terms.
Increasingly customers are saying “I would like access to my data; I'd like access to my information”. So the direction of Open Banking and other open standards makes sense.
At the same time this also presents new challenges for the banking industry. As others overseas have learnt, sometimes you get an outcome other than the one sought. So the key is to be curious, continue to learn, work together and involve all groups in the decisions that affect them. All the while keeping the customer front of mind.
Blockchain has been described as a solution looking for a problem but while it may be hard to exactly quantify right now the extent to which it is forcing change it’s impossible to deny technology has made waves.
If the problem you're trying to solve involves multiple parties, involves trust, and is a scenario where no clear central authority manages/adjudicates, then there's an excellent chance some application of blockchain technology may help.
At ANZ, we’ve been exploring - together with IBM, Westfield and Westpac - how blockchain technologies can simplify bank guarantees.
I don't often try make long term predictions but I do think blockchain technology will – over the long run – become significant. Perhaps as fundamentally important as TCPIP is today.
Find out more in this part two of the podcast I recorded with the Chief Operating Officer of TCS, NG Subramaniam at their Summit late last year which covers more on these topics above.
You can listen to part one of our chat here.
Gerard Florian is Group Executive – Technology at ANZ