Consumer Data Right to help Aussies switch and save

Consumer Data Right to help Aussies switch and save

Switching banks, phone plans or energy companies may become much simpler and easier in the future, with the help of a new federal government Open Banking initiative that gives consumers the right to access to their banking data.

In his 2018 federal budget speech, treasurer Scott Morrison described the goal of the Consumer Data Right as “giving small businesses and households more control, more choice and better deals.”

Based on the findings of the Report of the independent Review into Open Banking in Australia, the Consumer Data Right will allow Australians to quickly and easily access their own personal and financial data, as well as improved information on key goods and services, such as banking, energy, and telecommunications.

According to the Treasury’s fact sheet, the benefits of the Consumer Data Right may include improvements to:

  • Comparison tools for credit cards and mortgages, with product recommendations tailored to consumers’ actual spending and repayment patterns;
  • Comparison tools to assist small businesses to identify better business lending products, taking into account historical borrowing needs;
  • Budgeting tools that show consumers all their financial products on one screen and help them better manage their finances by providing insights into current spending habits;
  • Services that use small businesses transaction data to provide insights or meet compliance obligations.
  • Analysis tools that look at a household’s past energy use to help them choose a better energy plan;
  • Analysis tools that use the level and timing of a household’s energy usage to help them to determine the net benefits of investing in solar power and the size and type of system that would best suit them; or
  • Comparison tools that help consumers locate the best mobile phone and internet service provider deal for them, based on their actual mobile phone and internet data usage.

consumer data right

Source: Treasury

The Government’s $45 million in funding over four years is set to back up the Consumer Data Right with well-funded regulators with strong enforcement powers, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to set accreditation criteria and processes for data recipients and enforce serious or systemic breaches, and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to oversee privacy protections.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims describing the introduction of a consumer data right in Australia as “a fundamental competition and consumer reform.”

“This new right will improve consumers’ ability to compare and switch between goods and services on offer. We expect the scheme to encourage competition between service providers, leading not only to better prices for customers but also more innovation of products and services.”

Australian Banking Association CEO, Anna Bligh, also voiced support for Open Banking, emphasising the importance of getting the reform right, with the security of customer data at the forefront of policy making.

“Banks are committed to delivering this reform within the tight timeframe and are looking forward to seeing further details contained in the draft legislation as soon as possible.”

The Consumer Data Right is scheduled to start its phased implementation with the introduction of an Open Banking program for credit and debit cards, deposit and transaction accounts from the big four banks by July 2019, with mortgages expected to follow in 2020.

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Can I start a bank account online?

Yes, most lenders that operate in Australia will let you set up a bank account online. The process is usually simple and takes five to 10 minutes. You will probably need to provide a passport or birth certificate, as well as a driver’s licence, Medicare card or another form of secondary identification. Requirements differ from lender to lender, so some institutions might ask for more or different forms of ID.

How do you deposit change into your bank account?

One way to deposit change into your bank account is to visit a branch. Many lenders will also allow you to deposit your change through one of their ATMs.

Do you need a bank account to sell on eBay?

You don’t need a bank account to sell on eBay. But if you don’t have a bank account, you must provide either a credit card or debit card.

How can I deposit cash into my bank account?

The traditional way to deposit cash into your bank account is to go to a branch and give it to a teller. These days, many banks will allow you to make deposits through an ATM as well.

What do I need to open a company bank account?

To open a company bank account, you will probably have to provide 100 points of ID, an ABN and an ACN. You will probably have to provide the details of all signatories as well.

How can you cash a cheque without a bank account?

You can cash a cheque without a bank account if you visit the bank that issued the cheque. For example, if somebody sends you a cheque from Bank X (as written on the cheque) and you visit Bank X, it’s likely that Bank X will let you cash the cheque – provided the person who wrote the cheque has enough money in their account. Bank X would probably charge you a fee for the service.

Can you get a payday loan without a bank account?

Yes. Some payday lenders are willing to transfer loans to prepaid debit cards instead of bank accounts.

Can foreigners open bank accounts in Australia?

Many Australian lenders allow foreigners to open bank accounts in Australia. Often, this can be done before you arrive in the country – with no Australian address required. When you get to Australia, you can pick up your debit card, using your passport as identification.

Can I have a PayPal account without a bank account?

You don’t need a bank account to send or receive money through PayPal. However, you do need a bank account if you want to withdraw money from your PayPal account.

How can I wire money to a bank account?

You can wire money to an Australian bank account either through your own bank or by using a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Either way, you’ll need the other person’s name, BSB number and account number. If you use a money transfer company, you might also need to provide the recipient’s address for large payments.

How do you open a bank account under 18?

If you’re under 18 and you want to open an Australian bank account, you will need your passport or birth certificate. (Some lenders might require just a Medicare card or driver’s licence.) You can apply online or at a branch. If you’re 13 or under, you will probably need a parent to accompany you to a branch.

Which bank is best for business accounts?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to the question of which bank is best for business accounts. That’s because ‘best’ will differ from customer to customer, depending on their unique circumstances. These include not only your company’s financial position, but also its size, its age and the sector in which it operates. Another factor to consider is what features you want in a bank account. Your business may require different features than another business; and your business may require different features tomorrow than it does today.

The best thing to do is to thoroughly research the market before opening a business account. And when you do open an account, you should reassess your options every year or two, because the market moves quickly. A particular bank might offer the best account today, but be surpassed by one or several rivals tomorrow.

How do I open a new bank account?

There are a number of ways to open a new bank account – online, over the phone or in the branch. The trick is to decide what type of bank account you want beforehand.

It might sound like a simple enough task, but there are literally hundreds of bank accounts to choose from. And each offer their own banking features and benefits.

A comparison site like RateCity can help you work out what bank account product matches your needs.

Once you’ve made up your mind what you want, it’s advisable to have the following information ready for the application process.

  • A couple of forms of identification (such as driver’s licence, Medicare card, passport)
  • Tax file number
  • Residential address, contact phone number and email (though email is not essential)

Can Centrelink access your bank account?

Yes, Centrelink can access your bank account, but only if you give them a reason to. Centrelink uses data-matching software with other federal government agencies to help it crack down on welfare cheats.

This is why it’s important to give true and matching information to all government agencies.

For example, if you report to Centrelink your annual income is $25,000, but at tax time you report your income as $50,000 with the ATO, it’s likely you’ll be ‘red flagged’.

At this point, Centrelink can legally request that your bank hand over your personal bank account details, to review your finances.

In most cases, Centrelink does not have the authority to take money out of your account. You will usually be given written notice to repay the debt.

However, Centrelink can also reduce your benefits until you’ve paid back what you owe. In extreme cases, Centrelink can garnish your wages and assets (including money in your bank account) until your debt is repaid.