Australian Banking Association releases a strategic review of the roll-out of the Consumer Data Right

Australian Banking Association releases a strategic review of the roll-out of the Consumer Data Right

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) have today released the findings of a strategic review undertaken by Accenture into the roll-out of Australia’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime.

The CDR went live to customers of major banks in July 2020, and to customers of other banks in July 2021. Approaching 4 years since its launch, the ABA commissioned Accenture to undertake a strategic review to understand how Australians are using it.

Key findings of the review:

  • At the end of 2023, only 0.31% of bank customers were using CDR, more than 50% of data sharing arrangements had been discontinued or allowed to lapse throughout the year.
  • In addition to significant government investment, the banking industry has invested around $1.5 billion into CDR since 2018.
  • Contrary to its intent, the CDR is negatively impacting competition in the sector as mid-tier and regional banks incur disproportionately higher compliance costs compared to major banks.
  • High compliance costs are forcing difficult investment trade-offs – particularly for smaller banks – leading to vital technology and customer projects being deprioritised (e.g. digital banking experiences, scam detection and prevention).
  • Other digital innovations in banking, such as mobile wallets and PayID, have had materially higher customer uptake three to four years post launching.

ABA CEO Anna Bligh said the banking industry has worked in partnership with Government to roll-out CDR and has dedicated considerable resources into building data sharing systems.

“Australian banks have invested heavily to secure the success of CDR,” Ms Bligh said.

“Despite the best efforts of Government, regulators and industry, this review makes it clear that CDR has not realised its potential.

“Australians have enthusiastically embraced digital innovations in banking such as mobile wallets and PayID, however uptake of the CDR has been comparatively low.

“It’s time to go back to the drawing board. The current CDR regime isn’t delivering for customers or enhancing competition and a new pathway forward is needed.”

Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) CEO Michael Lawrence said customer-owned banks had collectively invested over $100 million in CDR, with very little benefit to customers or competition.

“While we support the intent of the CDR to increase competition, it has actually made it more difficult for smaller banks to compete by tying up resources with little to no tangible return,” Mr Lawrence said.

“Before smaller banks commit more resources, we ask for a clear roadmap to ensure the CDR delivers on its original intent to improve competition.

“Forging ahead without addressing these foundational issues will further erode competition and divert essential investment away from improving customer outcomes and supporting local communities.”

Read the Consumer Data Right Strategic Review here.