As part of SuperConcepts' commitment to bringing better, simpler and more secure services to our clients in 2021 we will be receiving ISO 27001 and SOC 2 certification in the new year - enabling our application to join Open Banking to provide greater banking services to our customers.
SuperConcepts passed the design phase of the ISO 27001 certification of the security of our systems and operations as well as the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 certification which will mean that future audits will no longer require access to bank statements and financial records which provides a high level of trust to auditors. Both security measures will be assessed at the operational level in 2021 and will be in place by June 30.
While these certifications provide all of our clients with extreme peace of mind that all of their data is safe with us, the combination of these certifications places SuperConcepts to be one of the first SMSF service providers to be able to provide Open Banking services to our clients.
"We have ISO to prove to the ATO that we have robust security systems, we have done SOC so that our auditors can rely on those systems and both of those have set us up to be one of the early participants in our space in the Open Banking regime because we will have everything in place," SuperConcepts Chief Information Officer Grant Christensen said.
"By doing this it is setting us up to be leading the SMSF space for Open Banking."
This is a practice that will allow for third-party financial service providers to have full access to consumer banking, transaction and other financial data from Approved Deposit Taking institutions including the major banks. It means that Australians will be able to share their banking data with third parties that have been accredited by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
It will enable consumers to get better deals that are tailored directly to them and will also cut down time developing working relationships with accredited third parties as they will have instant access to all of the data they need to personalise products and prices to you.
There are many countries around the world that have already embraced Open Banking with the United Kingdom deemed the trailblazer. Only nine banks and financial institutions were mandated to provide Open Banking services, but many, many more volunteered and in the two years since it was launched that number has grown to 204 regulated Open Banking providers.
The process of rolling out Open Banking in Australia started in 2018 when the Federal Government implemented the Consumer Data Right legislation and phased implementation was announced to gradually roll out Open Banking. In early 2020 the Big Four banks (Commonwealth, NAB, Westpac and ANZ) were required to start making customer data available for Open Banking.
From October 1, all other banks were required to start the process of making product reference data available. By February 1 in 2021 the major banks are required to have provided all data required and all other banks are required to make account and transaction data available by February 1, 2022. That is the scheduled data for Open Banking to be totally rolled out in Australia.
Because Australia is dominated by the Big Four banks, Open Banking is expected to shake up the Australian financial services sector as there will be much greater levels of competition and many smaller financial institutions are set to challenge the Big Four and create a more competitive financial services landscape.
The key industries that will be able to make the most of Open Banking are those that offer any form of financial advice, as well as compliance and administration service providers like SuperConcepts. One of the main challenges with any form of financial advice is gathering all the paperwork, data and transactions together so it can be analysed, reviewed and solutions can be put together and offered to the client.
As Open Banking in Australia matures, it has the potential to completely streamline this and take significant time out of the process. Clients that opt into Open Banking will essentially open their books up for an Application Programming Interface (API) to communicate with the SMSF service provider, so all the information is instantly collated and ready to be analysed.
Not only will it speed up the process, but this complete transparency also means that the advice given will be the most accurate and personalised totally to the individual based on their actual banking history and data. It looks as a gamechanger for the SMSF space and SuperConcepts is looking forward to being a leader in Open Banking, becoming accredited and ready to offer this service to our clients soon.