· Australia’s first digital-only ‘neobank’ says pre-registration exceeds expectations
· Unveils 2018 product details and timeline, prepares regulatory submission to accept deposits
· Welcomes government commitment to provide more banking choice for Australians
Xinja, Australia’s first ‘neobank’, today said it has had more public support than it had anticipated for its plan to bring competition to the Australian banking sector.
Xinja, which is 100% digital and designed entirely for mobile, has submitted applications to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for an Australian Credit Licence and an Australian Financial Services Licence. It has also prepared a submission for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to become an Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI).
Xinja chief executive Eric Wilson said there has been significant interest from the public since May this year when Xinja announced its first capital raising and outlined its plans build a new banking experience for Australians.
“Our waitlist or pre-registration numbers for the release of our pre-paid card runs into the thousands, whereas we had anticipated only hundreds at this stage originally. This indicates the level of appetite among Australians for a new kind of bank,” Mr Wilson said.
“We are planning to launch mortgages in 2018 followed by transactional accounts, depending on receiving a banking license,” he said.
Xinja has already developed a first version of its app and will launch limited beta releases of its pre-paid cards within a couple of months, with a full launch in February 2018 or earlier.
“The pre-paid card is a great way for customers to try out the Xinja app with low commitment. They’ll be able to easily link it to existing transaction or savings accounts” said Van Le, Xinja’s Customer Innovation Director.
“In the last few months we have talked in depth to a lot of people about what they love or hate about managing their money and what they want their bank to be able to do,” said Ms Le.
“We are looking forward to testing the early prototypes as soon as possible with Founding Xinjas on the waitlist. This is a highly iterative process, with our future customers involved every step of the way,” she said.
Xinja has held detailed discussions with ASIC and APRA covering competition in the banking sector, “regtech” and open banking. It has also made a submission to the Productivity Commission on reducing the $A50 million capital barrier for new banking sector entrants and restrictions on the use of the term “bank”.
Mr Wilson said Xinja is highly supportive of a more competitive environment and expects that other potential neobanks could emerge over time to challenge the dominance of major banks in Australia, broadening the local market.
“While the experience of neobanks in the UK was that new entrants grew the market overall, it is the existing incumbents that remain Xinja’s real competition,” he said.
“Increased competition in banking is great news for customers; it means more choice and it will drive better use of data for better, easier financial decisions and behaviour.
“This is what Xinja is all about.”
Xinja is launching its second round capital raising two months ahead of schedule following a higher than anticipated level of interest from the public.
Mr Wilson said Xinja expects to raise A$10-15 million from this Series B raise to fund the building of lending and deposit technologies. Xinja raised about A$3 million from its initial funding round.
Most if not all of the initial investors are planning to reinvest in the latest round and there has been considerable interest from abroad, with several investors in Singapore proactively making inquiries, he said.
There has also been interest from several Australian corporates and venture capitalists as well as private individuals with a minimum of A$200,000 to invest.
People can sign up now to become founding customers or ‘Xinjas’, help shape the future of Xinja and receive access to future crowdfunding opportunities. Join the waitlist at xinjav2staging.wpengine.com
For further information, please contact:
P&L Corporate Communications
61 2 9231 5411, 61 414 999 693