Xinja takes key step towards Open Banking compliance

Xinja Open Banking API SISS

Digital-only bank Xinja has taken a crucial step towards meeting its Open Banking obligations, enlisting API developer SISS Data Services to deliver its product reference data-sharing capability – a key requirement under the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime.

Open Banking – one of the first cabs off the rank for the wider CDR scheme – requires participants to make not only their customers’ data but also product reference data available to share via an open API.

While CDR backers often emphasise the benefits of customer data-sharing, enabling consumers to more easily shift between providers, the availability of product data is also seen as key to improving transparency around product offerings.

According to the ACCC, the regulator overseeing the scheme, product reference data for banks could include information ranging anywhere from interest rates, fees and charges to eligibility criteria for banking products, such as credit cards and mortgages.

ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said such data is “vital for accredited data-receiving businesses to provide comparison services and potentially offer better deals to consumers”.

By October 2020, all non-major banks and authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) are required to meet CDR regulations, thereby making their product data available for exchange between accredited data recipients.

Xinja’s partnership with SISS follows in the wake of a number of local banks who have secured similar deals with the API developer.

SISS-developed APIs are used widely within the local financial services sector, with the big four, Bendigo, BoQ and Macquarie all sharing data with the company.

The developer’s turnkey, cloud-based product data management platform demands little infrastructure from partner banks, it said, requiring neither “integration nor [reliance] on [their] core banking system”.

The API is hosted and managed by SISS, with the developer’s Online Product Designer platform allowing banks to “easily create, manage and publish product reference data”.

“Sharing product reference data is not only about complying with the CDR. [It] is about showcasing your products and standing out in a crowd, and perhaps even attracting new customers,” SISS said in its product brief.

Xinja chief information officer, Greg Steel, acknowledged SISS’s manifold banking partnerships in Australia, stating the API developer “is already well established in sharing customers’ banking data through pre-CDR channels and has mature controls for keeping data safe.”

“However, what really attracted us was that Xinja and SISS, along with partners like private data sharing platform and ID Exchange, are well aligned in vision; looking beyond CDR to putting data fully into the hands of customers and helping them control access,” Steel said.

SISS chief executive Grant Augustin said API positions Xinja “well for phase two of Open Banking in July 2021”, allowing integration with customer-data sharing platforms such as Digi.Me.

Users of the Product Reference Data solution pay an initial establishment fee of $7,500 (excluding GST), with an ongoing fee of $3,000 each month.