Fintech Traces COVID Contacts Using Credit Card History | Information age

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Fintech startup associates credit card use with covid locations (source: shutterstock)

It may have been designed to help consumers compare mortgages more easily, but the open banking regime based on consumer data law (CDR) is bearing unexpected fruits as fintech startup launches correspondence service data that alerts consumers if they have visited a COVID Exposure Site.

The free service, called COVID Hotspot Alert, crosses a consumer’s credit card purchase history with lists of publicly available exhibit sites to determine if they may have been in the store during a window of business. exposure.

With conventional contact tracing often taking days to catch up with the spread of the coronavirus in the community, an automated AI-based engine offers a much faster alternative thanks to automated data matching between raw bank data and data feeds. provided by various states.

Differences in state data formats mean the service only works in NSW at this time, said Jill Berry, CEO and co-founder of Adatree. Information age, but the company is working to overcome the differences and plans to expand it soon to Victoria and Queensland.

“We wanted it to be a personal contact tracer, a service to pay attention to and forget,” Berry said. “But we really need to refine our machine learning for them, because, for example, Queensland data is very different and has a lot less structure than NSW data.”

To address this, Adatree relies heavily on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other APIs to verify and validate data through geolocation, merchant codes, and more. that businesses are correctly identified if they have similar sounding names.

New directions for CDR

COVID Hotspot Alert is the first non-financial use case of CDR, a sweeping policy framework that was introduced last year to boost the “data economy” by enabling the open banking regime of the financial services industry and will gradually be extended to energy and telecommunications providers.

Despite years of government development and industry advocacy around CDR, Berry said that “the government has not done anything. [public] campaign on it at all. If you are in business, fintech, or finance, you are familiar with open banking, but this is the first time that it has actually been broadcast to the masses. “

“They are already starting to think about how they can educate consumers about safe data sharing practices and what CDR really is.”

The wealth of sensitive information available through CDR has raised many concerns that it could be exploited by loyalty programs and questionable data collectors, with strict rules regarding the certification of authorized data recipients (ADRs). imposing strict constraints on what data is available and what companies can do with it.

Founded specifically to capitalize on the new opportunities presented by CDR, Adatree received its ADR accreditation in February – fostering a range of new use cases that led Berry to win the Emerging FinTech Leader of the Year award as part of the awards. fintech “Finnies” of this month.

The protections around CDR data are so tight that the government “has actually become a little too risk-averse from a security perspective,” Berry – who previously co-founded the neobank Volt Bank and entered Adatree with a team well-established to safety. coding protocols and information security policies – said. “He kind of copied and pasted what it takes to create a bank, from a security perspective.”

“This is great for consumers who think this is the Fort Knox of data sharing – but if you are considering bringing to market proposals and services based on real-time data sharing, the barriers to data sharing are great. entrance fees are incredibly high. “

Awareness of the use of sensitive contact tracing data was sparked this week by revelations that South Australia’s medical authority, SA Health, was retaining QR record data indefinitely, despite policies to delete them after 28 days.

Noting the importance of ongoing concerns about data privacy and security – and the fact that data derived from CDR data is also considered CDR data – Berry said Adatree would not only delete the data quickly, but that it would report on a quarterly basis and regularly audited to ensure it complies with requirements.

As the adoption of innovative apps pushes CDR out of the margins, government officials are optimistic that fintech innovators will continue to imagine new ways to harness financial data for the public good.

“We said from the start that the Consumer Data Right was about empowering Australians [and] putting them in charge of their own data, ”said Pensions, Financial Services and Digital Economy Minister Jane Hume, calling the service“ a great Adatree initiative ”.

“Open banking is already up and running,” Hume said, “and thousands of Australians have already consented to their banks sharing their data securely with an accredited third party to provide better service, such as a budgeting tool, or to find a better deal.

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