Neobank Xijna has secured its full banking licence and is rolling out transaction accounts to its early customers.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) said today it has granted Xinja its licence to operate as an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI), officially joining the ranks of Australia’s new banks.
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86 400 secured its unrestricted banking licence in July, after Volt Bank collected its banking licence in January, followed by Judo Bank in April. There’s also Up, which was first in the market because it operates under Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s licence.
Xinja was previously granted a restricted banking licence in December 2018 and has worked with regulators to meet more stringent requirements to obtain its full licence.
“It’s enormously exciting that Australians have a new, independent bank,” said Chief Executive and Founder, Eric Wilson. “It’s time Australia’s very old banking model was disrupted.”
“We are 100 per cent 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 a savings accounts. It plans to add lending products in the first quarter of 2020, “as well as some other fun, ‘unbanky’ surprises,” Wilson said.
- Read more: Australia’s Neobanks have Cleared Key Regulatory Hurdles, But Will Customers Embrace Them?
In February 2018 Xinja launched an app and prepaid travel card. Today Xinja has more than 12,000 prepaid card customers and a further 16,000 consumers have signed up to gain access to Xinja’s products, including its bank accounts, meaning the start-up already has a potential customer base of 28,000.
Existing prepaid card customers and those already on the waitlist will be the first to get access to Xinja’s new bank accounts from today.
Xinja has raised more than $5 million in two equity crowdfunding campaigns in January 2018 and January 2019, as well as a further $45 million from private and institutional investors around the globe.
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.