ANZ bank signs Data Republic for cloud-based data-sharing

ANZ has made a 'strategic' investment in Data Republic, signing an agreement alongside the funding for the use of the startup's data-sharing environments.

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has announced investing in big data startup Data Republic, hoping to speed up innovation through a secure data-sharing platform provided by the Sydney-based startup.

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Data Republic's data-sharing control centre allows organisations to store, categorise, and share data while maintaining governance and auditing frameworks, the company explained. It is expected ANZ will use the platform to share data with third parties through the cloud, laying the foundations for the looming Open Banking reforms.

"Using data analytics and insights to deliver better customer outcomes more often is an essential part of how we need to operate in the digital economy," ANZ chief data officer Emma Gray said in a statement on Monday.

"This partnership allows us to get more out of the data we already have, but in a safe and secure environment that provides the highest levels of governance."

According to Data Republic, the partnership sees the bank investing in the right technology to "future-proof its data collaboration capabilities".

Although yet to be legislated, ANZ will need to have its data-sharing ducks in line alongside the launch of the new Consumer Data Right.

Announced by the federal government in November, the new Consumer Data Right allows individuals to "own" their data by granting them open access to their banking, energy, phone, and internet transactions, as well as the right to control who can have it and who can use it.

The first sector of the Australian economy to which this right is to be applied is the financial services sector, through an Open Banking regime that sees consumers able to take their data to competing financial service providers.

ANZ is the third Australian banking giant to get behind Data Republic, with the National Australia Bank (NAB) taking part in the startup's AU$10.5 million Series A investment round in 2016 through its venture capital fund NAB Ventures.

Data Republic is also funded by Westpac's investment arm Reinventure.

Data Republic scored a contract from the New South Wales government in October to deliver a data marketplace through its Senate platform.

According to the company, its Senate platform has been designed to uphold trust and security by meeting data privacy, data confidentiality, data security, and data governance needs, as it "regulates" how shared data is permitted for use on the platform.

It also enables the secure exchange of datasets between industries such as retail, banking, automotive, aviation, and insurance.

For the 2016-17 financial year, ANZ reported statutory profit of AU$6.41 billion, up 12 percent year on year, with revenue from the bank's Australian business totalling AU$9.6.billion.

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