Tuesday, 12 June 2018 09:55

What can Australia learn from the UK's Open Banking experience?


Australia could usefully learn from the UK's introduction of Open Banking, according to a member of the OpenID board.

Ping Identity senior technical architect and OpenID board member Sarah Squire explained that Open Banking UK takes advantage of OpenID, and that open banking was one of the concepts that made OpenID desirable.

Learnings from the UK experience include:

• Establish a central (non-profit) authority to maintain a list of all valid members of the scheme and their certificates. This aids scalability, and provides a single touchpoint for banks and their customers.

• Don't introduce data sharing and payment processing at the same time. Rather, start with a read-only protocol (data sharing) and then add a read/write (payments) protocol. This is a particular example of not doing too much at once. Establishing an open process might mean slower progress, but it results in compromises that make decisions more widely acceptable.

• Start interoperability testing sooner rather than later. There are various ways that attackers can try to manipulate the system, and it is important to know that every party's software is handling these situations correctly. It also helps those developing customer-facing software if they know all of the banks' systems are adhering exactly to the protocol.

• Don't allow apps to store banking credentials. When apps need access to bank data, they should redirect the user to the bank where they can give their consent and then return to the app. Storing credentials "is something we are still trying to quash", Squire said. Banks don't want users to reveal their credentials, and it might be appropriate for a government to mandate that it doesn't happen.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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