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Top 10 Digital Banking Startups in Australia

Top 10 Digital Banking Startups in Australia

Technology is changing our lives and also the traditional banking system. Banking is becoming increasingly digital worldwide. According to a survey report by Mozo, 75% of Australians are now using a digital platform – either internet banking or an app to do their everyday banking. Australia has several digital banks that provide a wide range of services and products to its customers. 

Here is a list of Top 10 Digital Banks in Australia: 

1. Up

Up

Up is a digital bank backed by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. Up has over 100,000 customers, half of them aged between 16 – 24. It is a fully functioning neobank based in Melbourne. 

Being a neobank, Up is completely tech-driven. It is hosted in the cloud and operates solely on a mobile app. It offers almost all the essential services a traditional bank provides- making transactions, savings accounts, making mobile payments via Google Pay/Apple Pay, budget and spending insights.

Features: No monthly fees, US$ 5 sign up bonus, built-in budgeting, Up cards work around the world, multiple payment options.

Founded in: October 2018

Headquarters: South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

  1. Hay
Hay

Hay is a Sydney-based fintech, soon to become a neobank after it gets its Restricted Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (RADI) Licence and becomes a fully-fledged Australian bank. Hay’s waitlist is open now, and people can sign up and be the first to get access to the prepaid card, account and Hay app. 

There are some caps on the Hay Card and Hay Account. It allows the maximum account balance to be US$ 15,000, a maximum top-up amount of US$ 10,000 per day and maximum cash withdrawal limit of US$ 1,000 per day.

Features: Zero monthly account fees, foreign transaction fees and currency conversion fees, money management insights.

Founded in: 2018

Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

3. QPay 

Q Pay

QPay is a payment platform designed to help students create smarter spending habits and track their payments. It is not just available in Australia but overseas as well. It was launched as a platform for university societies to collect money for events, tickets etc. Over the years, QPay has evolved and developed its QPay Mastercard. 

The QPay Mastercard holders can load funds from an external bank account and track their spending in real-time. QPay also has a rewards system giving a chance to receive cashback when shopping at selected stores. It is soon going to become a neobank after getting its ADI license. 

Features: No fee Mastercard, Budgeting tool, goal-based savings accounts.

Founded in: 2013

Founder: Andrew Clapham

Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

4. Spriggy

Spriggy

Spriggy is a money app and a financial education tool. It aims to provide a hands-on financial experience to young Australians aged between 6-17. With the help of Spriggy, kids can spend money with their spriggy card and meet their saving goals, under parental supervision of course!

 Spriggy offers a physical Visa Prepaid Card and through its app, one can move funds between different accounts, view purchases and set savings goals. Spriggy is an independent money app and thus, any funds transferred into a Spriggy account is held by Brisbane-based Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI). 

Features: Customizable Spriggy Card, Parental Safeguards, Money Saving Goals.

Founded in: 2015

Founders: Alexander Badran, Mario Hasanakos

Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

5. Alex

Alex

Alex is an online lender and an aspiring neobank. Alex has the philosophy: ‘build a digital bank which offers straightforward products while keeping things as down to earth as possible.’ Alex is in the process of applying for an ADI licence which would allow them to offer deposit products such as bank accounts and savings accounts. 

The company offers the Alex Personal Loan, wherein borrowers can apply for an unsecured loan between US$ 2,100 and US$ 30,000 over a one-to-five-year period. It takes just around 3 minutes for borrowers to apply for the loan online, with zero paperwork.

Features: Borrowing with benefits, Easy online set-up.

Founded in: 2018

Founders: Craig Fenwick, Simon Beitz

Headquarters: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

6. Pelikin

Pelikin

Pelikin is an app-based fintech startup that aims to change how Aussie travellers manage their money while travelling abroad. Pelikin has launched a travel money app and a prepaid card used in over 200 countries for payments, swap between multiple currencies and get travel insurance. It is offering its travel insurance service by partnering with Sydney-based insurance startup – Insured By Us. Pelikin is backed by the UK company Tuxedo Money Solutions to provide their app and card, and by the Australian Heritage Bank to issue their Visa debit card. 

Features: Hold up to five currencies, Split bill function, In-app transfers, Built-in budgeting

Founded in: 2018

Headquarters: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

7. Volt Bank

Volt

Volt Bank is a neobank that provides the latest payment innovations to its customers – all within a single smartphone app. It became the first Australian neobank to be granted a Restricted Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (RADI) licence from APRA (the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority), in May 2018. In January 2019, it became the first neobank to be granted a full licence to operate as an ADI. 

Volt Bank is very much like any other bank, but it operates entirely online, making lives easier. The Volt Savings Account offers an ongoing interest rate of 1.00% and zero monthly fees. Therefore, it is a rewarding, risk-free option to keep your cash in. 

Features: Volt savings challenge, New payment options, Money management and categorization.

Founded in: October 2017

Founders: Luke Bunbury, Steve Weston

Headquarters: North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

8. 86 400

86 400

Are you thinking why a bank would call itself 86 400? It is a strange name indeed, but there is a brilliant philosophy behind it. There are 86,400 seconds in a day and according to the company, their name represents that they are helping Australians feel in control of their money, every second of every minute of every day!

86 400 is one of Australia’s leading noebanks, providing its customers with easy access to their money and real-time information about their finances. Like any other neobank, 86 400 leverages technology to provide better money insights, Innovative products with appealing features, personalised savings tools and all at minimal fees. 86 400 offers their very own home loans, transaction accounts and savings accounts. It is backed by Cuscal – a payment solutions provider. 

Features: Instant transfers, Smart alerts, External data integration, Latest mobile payment options, Digital home loans. 

Founded in: 2017

CEO: Robert Bell 

Headquarters: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

9. Xinja

Xinja

Xinja Bank is an Australian digital neobank that offers transactions and savings account products through its mobile app. The company received its full banking licence in 2019 and launched their bank account and savings account in January 2020.

Xinja has a simplistic and minimal design. It allows customers to set up their accounts within seconds, with zero paperwork. It also offers fast support with its 24*7 in-app chat. Xinja has kept security at the top of its priority list and its bank accounts are covered by the Government guarantee. Any big financial institution does not back it, unlike most of the digital banks we saw. 

Features: Low fees, Easy Setup, 2.25%p.a. interest rate on savings account.

Founded in: May 2017

Founders: Eric Wilson, Van Le

Headquarters: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

10. Judo Bank

Judo Bank

Judo Bank focuses mainly on SME lending and deposit products, credit lines, business loans and term deposits. Judo Bank obtained the unicorn status in 2020 and is growing at a rapid pace. The name ‘Judo’ comes from ‘Judo Strategy’ – the art of defeating larger opponents. 

It officially became a bank in April 2019 after securing the ADI (Authorised Deposit-taking Institution) licence. Judo doesn’t believe in ‘one size fits all’ approach. It aims to establish personal contact and build trust. Its customers can stay in regular contact with their relationship managers who will help them make sound financial decisions according to their needs. While Judo offers term deposits to regular Aussie customers, their primary focus is to provide a range of borrowing options to SMEs. 

Features: Customer-first approach, Competitive rates, Traditional Guarantee.

Founded in: 2016

Founders: Alex Twigg, Chris Bayliss, David Hornery, Joseph Healy, Kate Keenan, Tim Alexander

Headquarters: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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