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Data-sharing can take the pain out of shopping around

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When it comes to saving money, one of the most common bits of advice you will read in the personal finance section of a newspaper is to get out there and "shop around."

The reason this advice is so common is that it's generally true. Competition only works well if customers are prepared to take their business elsewhere. Even so, there's one rather large problem with all this: shopping around is pretty tedious.

The big banks will be the first cabs off the rank under a new data-sharing regime.Credit:

Almost all of us would prefer to do other things than pore over bank statements, or check out how many cents we are paying per kilowatt hour of electricity.

As a result, many of us end up paying more than we should for these essential services.

Lately, however, there has been some good news on this front.

Upcoming laws have the potential to help consumers get the benefits of "shopping around," without forcing us to spend hours comparing the minutiae of electricity plans – and that should help customers save money.

There will be competition between........

© Brisbane Times