SWIFT Institute Challenges Students to Protect Data in an Open API World

The SWIFT Institute, a living Library for financial research managed by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, announced its third annual student challenge which asks students to find ways to protect personal information and other sensitive data in open data environments. The 2018 SWIFT Institute Challenge is for Australian-based students, and focuses on financial services, open banking APIs in particular.

With government initiatives involving open banking such as the EU Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) and Australia’s new Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) system, this year's SWIFT competition asks students to address the challenges of protecting personal financial information while opening banking systems by providing APIs for use by third-party applications. PSD2 goes into effect in 2018, and is an EU directive that revised the rules for payment services. Australia’s CCR is a system that makes it easier for lenders to obtain an individual’s financial information in order to evaluate their credit history.

"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," said Dr Leila Fourie, CEO of Australian Payments Network, in a prepared statement. "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."

Eight finalists will be announced in July 2018, and the winner of the competition will be awarded a check in the amount of AUD 30,000. The final presentations and announcement of the winner will take place on October 24, 2018 at Sibos in Sydney.

Be sure to read the next Banking article: Monzo Releases Interim API to Comply with PSD2 Banking Regulations