John Sanger (AFG) about the State of Open Banking

We view Open Banking as a transformational enabler for future customer experiences and products that may change the way consumers borrow, save and manage their finances.

John Sanger, Chief Operating Officer (AFG)
John Sanger AFG

Australian Finance Group Ltd (ASX:AFG) is one of Australia’s largest mortgage broking groups with more than 3,000 brokers in its network nationwide.

AFG recently launched a PFM app called ‘Handl. by AFG‘. The PFM was designed in collaboration with Volt Bank and Frollo. ‘Handl. by AFG’ will also serve as the new AFG Home Loans Sparc product’s customer banking application and will ultimately be made available for download to AFG brokers’ customers.

Next, they’re planning to position their brokers as Open Banking ready to help deliver more value to their customers.

Why has AFG decided to invest in Open Banking early on?

At AFG, we are innovators and have never been afraid to challenge the status quo. We have our eyes on the future to ensure our brokers have the technology and tools to provide great customer outcomes.

We view Open Banking as a transformational enabler for future customer experiences and products that may change the way consumers borrow, save and manage their finances.

With the consumer empowered and in control to share their data in a safe and secure environment, Open Banking aligns neatly with AFG’s purpose of creating competition and providing financial choice for all Australians.

Where do you see the biggest Open Banking opportunities for AFG?

While it is early days, we see the value being unlocked over multiple time horizons.

Initially, it is about doing the same things but better, with data we can trust across the ecosystem from customer to lender. For example, this could include tools for brokers that enable them to leverage CDR data to assist with understanding the financial position of their customers.

Our new PFM, Handl. by AFG, is a good example of accessing and aggregating data for consumers to handle their accounts, manage their budgets, and access financial insights.

Ultimately, new services and products will be enabled with the new access models being developed to read and write data using Open Banking. This will enable us to reimagine how things are done and find new ways with less friction to better serve our brokers and their customers.

What would be your advice to organisations who want to get started with Open Banking?

Think and plan on two horizons – what can be done now for short-term value for customers and partners, while ideating on the future potential. Get started on use cases that help enrich existing customer experiences while building deeper understanding and developing new capabilities for the future.

Select and work with good partners to realise the potential.

What are your expectations for Open Banking in the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months and beyond, we expect that consumers will start to become more familiar with the concepts of consenting to data sharing under the Open Banking regime. This awareness is a first step to embracing the benefits and will start to feed the industry investment in Open Banking.

Also, the continued evolution of new access models such as write access and ‘trusted advisor’ (for example, mortgage brokers) access to CDR data, will be key to AFG’s ability to further leverage Open Banking for great customer outcomes.

This interview with John Sanger was first published in ‘The State of Open Banking 2021‘, along with an industry survey and interviews with James Wyper (P&N Group), Nick Malham (BOQ) and Tony Carn (NextGen.Net).

Open Banking in Australia is ready for takeoff. With over 90 banks sharing data, more than 20 Accredited Data Recipients and 67% of respondents planning to use Open Banking data in the next 12 months, this is the time to get started. 

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