With Australia’s major banks stumbling in the wake of the Royal Commission inquiry, there have been many reports of consumers starting to look elsewhere as their trust in the biggest lenders dwindles.
These stumbles from the big players have opened the door for a wave of new banking startups, many of which believe that they are able to combine technology and transparency to deliver an approach that better suits changing user habits.
Xinja is now set to join the big leagues after receiving confirmation of its license from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), although it will start off with a restricted authorized deposit-taking institution (RADI) license.
This means that the neobank can officially take deposits. Overall, 22,000 customers are already on the books, and they will now be able to use card facilities offered by the bank.
Eric Wilson, Xinja’s Co-Founder and CEO, said that the bank’s success has so far come from ‘not only local and overseas professional investors but our staff and thousands of cardholders who have invested as part of our equity crowdfunding.’ He added that Xinja’s aim is to ‘revolutionize banking.’
Chairperson Lindley Edwards added that the banking market has generally been ‘stagnant for too long when it comes to looking after the interests of ordinary Australians.’ She said that the neobank’s executives have ‘built Xinja from the ground up,’ which gave them the opportunity to learn what customers are seeking. Edwards added that she and her cohorts ‘listened to people who want to bank with us and used their feedback to help us build a better bank.’
Xinja and other up-and-coming banks, such as Revolut, have made their name by offering interesting new ways of managing finances and spending money abroad.
These banks have made it easier to track how much it costs to spend in foreign currencies. Xinja can show its users how much an item costs in either Australian dollars or the currency of whichever country the purchase is from so that customers know the exact price and the exchange rate to expect.
Other features that Xinja offers include allowing its customers to track daily spending more easily, split costs with friends and family through the bank’s app and top up their accounts through any debit card or other major bank account.
These developments are important for consumers, who are becoming savvier and more aware of what is available on the market. There is also a growing belief that the increasing potential of technology should benefit users and that banks should be using it to offer a better service. Xinja and similar neobanks have seen traction through such endeavors.
Edwards pointed out that there have been plenty of other tech disruptors in the scene and believes that it is only a matter of time before they become serious challengers to the big banking throne. Just last month, Xinja confirmed that it had launched its core banking infrastructure in record time in partnership with SAP.
Xinja’s efforts to fund its expansion have increased this year by A$17million in Series A and B funding as well as A$2.7million in equity crowdfunding.