How automation can help banks with their CDR obligations

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How automation can help banks with their CDR obligations
Because of digitisation, banks hold more customer information than ever.
Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash

Consumer Data Rights (CDR) on the agenda.

With the 2021 Federal Budget completed, the Australian government has confirmed the allocation of $111 million to increase the uptake of the use of Consumer Data Rights (CDR), starting with the banking sector. It’s a sign the government is taking customer data seriously, and so should the banking sector.

CDR, first introduced in 2017, aims to give Australian consumers improved access and control over their personal data held by organisations. The intent? To give consumers more power and agency when comparing service providers, and to empower them to move between providers more easily if they choose to do so. The CDR rules and standards are intended to increase competition among providers, encourage the innovation of services and hopefully lead to better prices for consumers.

Banking was the first sector to be covered by CDR with major ranks required to comply from February last year. From 1 October 2021, CDR will apply to non-major authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs), including non-major banks, building societies and credit unions. Energy and telecommunications will then be the next industries to follow CDR rules.

However, despite the optimism surrounding the initial announcement and obvious benefits, uptake of CDR has been slow.

With a new focus on CDR spearheaded by Government, now’s the time for banks and other financial institutions to make sure they’re prepared for this next step. It’s a large task, and many banks have a lot of work to do. To meet the challenge, they’ll need to turn to new technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA) and other automation technologies.

Automating routine tasks

CDR enshrines the need for data holders to meet the legal and technical requirements to disclose product and consumer data, establish dispute resolution services, keep appropriate records, regularly report, and comply with Privacy Safeguards.

Automation is the logical next step for banks preparing for CDR. RPA programs enable the automation of heavily manual or repetitive tasks without the need to be, or hire, a coding expert. And RPA and other automation systems provide other benefits, outside of preparing for CDR.

Under the CDR, the banking sector needs to securely share customer data with a trusted third party, at the customer’s direction. Automated redaction technology facilitates this security by removing sensitive data that it isn’t appropriate to share. It can also be used to de-identify data to be used for general research purposes.

Australian banks have millions of customers in their care, and automation will play an important role in preparing data for sharing. Equipped with technology like intelligent document processing (IDP), AI-based cognitive intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing, RPA tools are learning and improving while they process unstructured document data to better seek, find and categorise information.

Meeting CDR Expectations

The use of this technology benefits banks and customers. Sorting the mass of data held by banks and preparing it for secure sharing makes CDR compliance easier and means customers will no longer have to pay a “lazy tax” in which they’re charged more for services because moving elsewhere is too complicated.

And for banks, automation means there’s no need for valuable and expensive staff to spend time on the tedious but necessary task of sifting through data entry by entry. Your bank can save on the time and cost associated with manually handling these tasks and engage employees with more creative, fulfilling and strategic work.

Finally, automation means there’s no requirement to outsource these large workloads. There’s less manual handling and information can stay within Australian borders, reducing offshore security risks.

Securing customers’ trust

Because of digitisation, banks hold more customer information than ever, and it’s growing by the day. Automation software prepares banks for CDR requirements, streamlines manually intensive but important work, and frees up resources to be better used elsewhere. A fully scalable solution, automation is flexible enough to handle the variety of workloads and demands likely to be needed by banks seeking CDR compliance.

Andy Mellor, Regional Vice President of Australia at Kofax.

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