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Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:01

Aussie students challenged on data protection solutions

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The SWIFT Institute research group has launched its third annual 2018 Challenge competition focusing on data protection, for Australian students to come up with solutions to current global industry challenges in the financial sector.

The 2018 competition addresses the issue of data privacy in an Open API environment, and specifically how to keep personal information safe.

The SWIFT Institute Challenge is open to any recognised university or further educational establishment based in Australia.

With the Australian Government’s plans to foster competition and support a growing FinTech community by introducing secure data-sharing, SWIFT says major lenders will have to provide more detailed information about their customers to credit agencies and, in this context, APIs have been deemed as the most trustworthy and tested technology to facilitate secure and reliable access to customers’ account and payment information.  

Competition entrants will be required to identify a solution that would help secure personal information in an open environment. They must submit a written report of no more than 1000 words and will be judged by financial industry practitioners.

Peter Ware, director of the SWIFT Institute, said the issue of how to keep personal information safe in an open environment is “increasingly a question that banks are trying to tackle as open banking becomes more prevalent”.

“This competition will challenge students to provide innovative solutions to this global industry issue. We look forward to seeing the practical concepts that are offered.”

Dr Leila Fourie, chief executive of Australian Payments Network, said. “The use of open APIs in payments must be accompanied by a robust governance framework as well as appropriately strong authentication to ensure that only approved parties have access to data.

“As an industry, it is crucially important that we maintain the right balance between security, privacy and commercial incentives to ensure that customers continue to benefit from the burgeoning data economy. We encourage entrants in the Challenge to think about enabling the benefits of open data while at the same time helping consumers maintain privacy.”

The top eight applicants will be announced in July this year with the final presentations taking place on 24 October at Sibos in Sydney.

Applicants will be judged on the innovative attributes of their solutions, and their practical application to the banking sector and its customers.

The SWIFT Institute will support each of the eight finalists with presentation coaching ahead of the showcase, and the winning concept will receive a cheque for $30,000.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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