Neobank granted full banking licence

Bank plans to add lending products to its offering in the first quarter of 2020

Neobank granted full banking licence


By Madison Utley

After having secured a restricted licence in December 2018, a neobank has today been granted its full banking licence.

Xinja Bank founder and CEO, Eric Wilson said, “It’s enormously exciting that Australians have a new, independent bank. It’s time Australia's very old banking model was disrupted.

“We are 100% digital, and we want people to have a real alternative to the incumbent banks. We want to give customers a real choice to be able to be with a bank that looks after them."

Xinja Bank has launched transaction accounts today - which are accessed solely via the new Xinja app and come with a Xinja Debit Mastercard® - and will soon launch ‘Stash’, or savings accounts. It plans to add lending products in the first quarter of 2020.

Xinja has distributed more than 12,000 prepaid cards, which are in use on average in 17 countries per day, and over 28,000 people have already signed up for Xinja. Existing prepaid card customers and those already on the waitlist will be the first to get access to Xinja’s new bank accounts.

The bank is built on new technology designed for flexibility; a platform that will allow it to rapidly roll out additional services to customers, driven increasingly by the dynamic use of data.

“This is what banking should be. Hyper-personalised services that leverage customers’ data in their interests," said Wilson. 

Having zero legacy systems and state-of-the-art technology gives Xinja Bank an advantage over both traditional and Australian digital banks, and will contribute to lower costs. 

“We are going to see hyper-personalised, data-driven messaging, products and services that help people achieve their financial goals,” Wilson said.

“We also want to reward people who stick with us. That turns the current model on its head – the existing banking model offers higher saving rates to new customers but ignores those people who have been loyal.

“We also hope to be able to use data for risk assessment that allows us to offer better lending rates for good financial behaviour.”

The Xinja team has grown to around 65 permanent staff, guided by a board that includes advisor Jason Bates, co-founder of UK neobanks Monzo and Starling; Thomas Vikstrom, a former leader of Tesla’s engineering team, and Brett King, who is a former advisor to the US Obama White House on the future of banking.

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