More power to compare and switch telco providers and share finance data

The Morrison Government is giving consumers more power to lower their internet and phone bills by expanding the Consumer Data Right to the telecommunications sector.

This is a joint media release from The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP: Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia & The Hon Paul Fletcher MP: Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts & Senator The Hon Jane Hume: Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy and Minister for Women’s Economic Security. It was originally published on 24th January, 2022.

The Consumer Data Right allows consumers to control the use of their data by trusted third parties so they can more easily compare products and find a better deal.

Expanding the Consumer Data Right to the telecommunications sector will allow consumers to access more accurate information about their own internet consumption, phone usage and product plans so they can more easily compare and switch between providers, encouraging more competition, lower prices and more innovative products.

Today’s formal designation of telecommunications marks the third sector to be covered by the Consumer Data Right, following its application to the banking sector and expansion to the energy sector. 

After telecommunications, the next step will be to expand the Consumer Data Right to ‘Open Finance’, building on the success of Open Banking. Open Finance will allow consumers to compare and save across a greater range of financial products covering not only banking, but also general insurance, superannuation, merchant acquiring and non-bank lending service providers.

Open Finance paves the way for the creation of new and innovative services such as personal finance and life administration apps to take the time, cost and complexity out of everyday tasks and big financial decisions for consumers. Combining Open Finance datasets with banking transaction data can also provide a consumer with a more holistic picture of their financial circumstances that is all held in the one place.

For example, with a consumers’ consent, an accredited budgeting app could provide the consumer with access to services based on data shared from their bank, energy or telecommunications provider, as well as information and insights relating to their general insurance, non-bank lending or superannuation. This could help consumers achieve savings goals, get better deals and change their consumption behaviours to better suit their lifestyle and needs.

The Government will shortly commence consultations with industry and government stakeholders on the rules to apply to the telecommunications sector and to ensure Open Finance delivers the best outcomes for consumers and encourages innovation.

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