Xinja was founded by CEO, Eric Wilson, and is being built by a passionate team of bankers, technologists and customer experience designers who firmly believe a bank can and should help their customers make more out of their money. And that this need not be an onerous or boring task, but in fact the latest mobile technology can make it not only beautifully simple and fast, but even fun.
Eric’s father-in-law had a long and stellar career as a bank manager in various regional Australian towns many years ago. To this day he still reminds Eric about the role of the traditional bank manager and asks what went wrong. He tells stories of respected advisors who actually took an interest in their customers, had meaningful contact and relationships with the families who relied on them, and gently steered them towards better financial decisions. The bank manager was a figure people chose to turn towards. Fast forward to today and research shows your average millennial would rather visit the dentist than the bank. They inhabit a world where communication from banks is jargonistic and confusing and is often only an impersonal telling off or saying ‘no’; where it can be hard to speak to the right person, and if you do the experience can be frustrating.
Eric became convinced that it is perfectly possible to bring back the role of the good banker. That a bank can be mindful of a customer’s financial activity and behaviour and gently help and guide them. That technology can be used to alert customers to make adjustments and jog them into better behaviours that constantly improve their finances on an ongoing basis. Ultimately leaving the customer much better off. Eric knew that meant that Xinja was going to make less money from individual customers than other banks in Australia, but if more people knew Xinja was looking out for them, that means more customers overall.
Obviously the way to achieve this was not by re-employing thousands of kindly gentleman father-in-laws, but through technology. Not some futuristic idea of what could be possible, but using the kind of mobile and AI (artificial intelligence) led banking technology available in many other countries, but which has not yet been brought to Australia.
“Ironically it is technology that will bring back the humanity to banking.”
Spurred on by the success of neobanks like Monzo, Starling and Atom Bank doing exactly this in the UK, US and Europe, Eric found an enthusiastic ally in Lindley Edwards (Chair of the Xinja board) who was also passionate about the potential for increasing financial literacy and using it to have a direct and highly beneficial impact for ordinary people. Xinja will be a perfectly viable and profitable business, but it will achieve this by benefiting it customers. Leapfrogging antiquated traditional banking technology, being 100% digital and leveraging the latest technology means that a (would-be) neobank like Xinja can be smarter for our customers’ benefit, quicker and easier for them to use, and can offer great value across innovative products and banking experiences.
And so Xinja was born. We’re not a bank yet, but we want to be, and a bloody good one.