He said the coronavirus crisis had highlighted the importance of resilient financial infrastructure starting with central banks and their oversight of digital services.
Accenture’s report argues that as banks, fintechs and companies such as Amazon and Alibaba expand their digital footprints, central banks have to follow suit.
“In short, central banks need to review their approach given that financial institutions are adopting new technologies, data is becoming more crucial and security threats are more pronounced,” Accenture found.
“To continue to meet their mandate – and to do it better – central banks must become digital regulators.”
Mr Trott said the growth in real-time data was one area central banks had an opportunity to use technology to broaden their understanding of the economy.
During the pandemic, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released new forms of information such as fortnightly payroll counts while commercial banks compiled weekly breakdowns of customer spending, which was then used by Treasury to learn how the economy was performing.
The RBA, which has widened its sources of data since the 2008 global financial crisis, also used different forms of information to understand the impact of the pandemic, including mobility data around the country’s major cities and even vaccine and COVID infection figures.
In its monetary policy statement released on Friday, the bank highlighted mobility measures including the number of people going through public transport transit stations. It also collated data on driving and walking levels in Sydney and Melbourne.
The bank also noted data from the Bureau of Meteorology on the chances of median rainfall plus forecasts on meat and crop production.
Mr Trott said this type of data collection and its analysis would be even more important for the RBA in the wake of the pandemic.
“Having a broader set of data gives you more insights into what is happening,” he said. “You have to have access to that data and work in real time to analyse it and then use it in almost real time to keep your finger on the pulse of the economy.”
This week, RBA governor Philip Lowe rejected suggestions of a fall in Australians’ living standards, noting there were tremendous opportunities in areas such as the digital economy.
He said while Australia had grown for the past 200 years from farming and mining, the next two centuries would depend on information and knowledge.
Accenture said another issue would be threats to financial stability, including cyber-related risks and others including pandemics.
“[It includes] the growing sophistication of technology-related security threats, and other threats to the economic order including trade wars, health crises (with the coronavirus pandemic being the latest) and nations clashing over resources, such as the recent oil spat,” it found.
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Shane is a senior economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.