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Payments Council to hold hackathon in August

The Australian Payments Council has announced it will hold a data-sharing hackathon, Improve the Lives of Australians, from 11 to 13 August in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Sydney event will be held at Stone & Chalk and the Melbourne hackathon will take place at Cognizant's Collaboratory.

About 200 participants will take part with data being provided by some of Australia's best-known financial institutions all of whom are members of the APC.

The hackathon will give participants access to data within a controlled environment. The sandbox, provided by the Open Bank Project, contains test data which emulate real transactions, and offers more than 130 standard banking APIs to access the data.

The hackathon aims to generate ideas and software creation. Among the APC's members are ANZ, Bendigo, Coles, CBA, Cuscal,
NAB, eftpos, Mastercard, Reserve Bank of Australia, Suncorp, Tyro Payments, and Westpac.

APC chairman Mark Birrell said: “As the digital economy takes hold and we move into an era of greater data availability, it’s important that we understand which datasets are useful for Australians. This understanding will help members of the Payments Council prioritise their work in this area, and ensure that customer needs are met.

“Of equal importance, this collaborative event will help uncover some of the key questions relating to privacy and security that go hand-in-hand with data. Duty of care towards customers - and by extension
their data - is front of mind for Council members.

“We are delighted to be working collaboratively with a broader community of developers in a sandbox environment. This will help the payments industry identify appropriately robust settings to protect customers’ privacy and security.”

Teams can pick one of two challenges:

  • "Improve daily life: In the words of the Productivity Commission 'Data is a new resource for our economy and society'. Show us how transactional data can improve the lives of ordinary Australians! or
  • "Improve life in unforeseen circumstances: Daily life is great until something goes wrong. Show us how transactional data can help when the unexpected happens!"

The best overall application in each city will receive $5000. Other award categories are: Most Unorthodox Use of Data, Best Social Media Hero, Most APIs Combined, Crowd Favourite and Most Diverse Team.

Teams should register before 6 August and can do so at this website.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.