TrueLayer powers open banking in Australia

5 November 2021

TrueLayer is a London-based open banking pioneer. Its technology helps a wide range of clients integrate open banking payments and data into their apps. This changes how customers interact with their finances. TrueLayer’s customers include some of the world’s most innovative fintechs.

The company officially launched its open banking platform in Australia in September 2021. This followed regulatory approvals under the Consumer Data Right (CDR) initiative.

In this case study, Brenton Charnley, Chief Executive Officer for TrueLayer, Australia and New Zealand, shares the company’s journey so far in Australia, including:

  • what makes Australia an attractive market for open banking
  • the keys to succeeding in the Australian fintech market
  • how a thriving ecosystem helps fintech firms in Australia.

New consumer data rules in Australia

Fintech is changing banking across the world and opening it up to new competitors. Now, open banking regulation in Australia is powering the revolution down under. In July 2021, the Australian Government’s consumer data legislation, called CDR, went live for all banks. This means consumers can share financial data with multiple services providers.

Charnley says the new CDR rules will encourage more fintech and other participants to get involved in open banking. The rules also give customers better control over their data.

‘Tiered access to consumer data will allow greater participation in open banking,’ says Charnley. ‘This has real benefits for providers and consumers.’

‘I believe that open banking payments will become the usual way for businesses to move money over the next five years,’ he adds. ‘The Australian market is ready for an open banking revolution.  Australians like innovative financial services.’

Setting up a local office in Australia is a critical move

TrueLayer initially managed its Australian operations from London and Hong Kong. This enabled the company to study the Australian market and regulatory landscape. Trade missions and industry events also helped.

TrueLayer began serving the Australian market from offshore in 2019. The company appointed Charnley to be the local business leader in 2020. He is based in Sydney. The company has since embarked on a talent-acquisition program hiring in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

‘When it comes to accelerating the go-to-market there is no substitute for local presence,’ says Charnley. ‘This means hiring the right talent with a good understanding of the region. Also, local decision-making helps us to manage time-sensitive situations.’

TrueLayer’s open banking journey in Australia

The company recently received Accredited Data Recipient (ADR) status under the CDR regime and launched its open banking platform in Australia. Charnley says being an ADR allows the company to harness the full power of open banking and CDR in Australia. 

‘TrueLayer’s global mission is to open up finance and empower businesses in every industry to build better financial experiences,’ he says. ‘We have global experience and a dedicated onshore team. We are committed to bringing best-in-class solutions for our clients and end consumers.’

Inclusive approach to regulation

Charnley compliments the inclusive approach of Australian fintech regulation. He points out that the regulatory environment for digital banking and data privacy has changed over the last few years.

According to Charnley, policymakers welcome fintechs to take part in rule setting. This includes bringing valuable expertise gained overseas.

‘For TrueLayer, getting involved locally in Australia in the development of the policy settings for open banking is a significant part of our local strategy,’ he says.

‘The experience of being an open banking leader in the UK, Ireland and Spain gives us hugely valuable insights,’ he adds. ‘For example, in Australia, we provided expert evidence to the Senate Select Committee on Financial and Regulatory Technology. I serve on the CSIRO Data61 Data Standards Advisory Committee.’

The UK-Australia FinTech Bridge helps market entrants

Strategic collaboration also helps. The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) created a UK-Australia FinTech Bridge in 2018.

The Bridge helps fintech operators, governments and financial regulators work together. Also, it helps fintech firms in both countries to explore new business opportunities.

Charnley says the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge helped his company set up in Australia.

‘When entering a new market, it is difficult to know who to talk to,’ says Charnley. ‘The main concern we had was finding the right people on the ground and getting the licences we needed.

‘The FinTech Bridge helped us connect with local advisers and initiate market conversations. The Bridge also amplified our market presence in Australia.’

Currently there are 35 Australian fintechs doing business in the UK, and 36 British fintechs doing business in Australia, according to the UK Department for International Trade.

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