Australia’s banking regulator grants Xinja a restricted banking licence

Australia’s banking regulator grants Xinja a restricted banking licence

Xinja said today it is ready to revolutionize the way Australians think about banking after receiving a restricted banking licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Xinja said it has now become a bank, a digital ‘neobank’ designed entirely for mobile, which is already challenging Australia’s entrenched major banks by showing people how innovation can make banking work in their interests.

APRA earlier confirmed it has granted Xinja a restricted authorised deposit-taking institution licence (RADI), allowing Xinja to conduct restricted banking business.

“We are super excited and this announcement confirms our belief that Xinja represents the new way of banking in Australia. It brings us one step closer to fulfilling our purpose, which is to help people make more out of their money,” said Xinja co-founder and Chief Executive Eric Wilson.

“Xinja is all about making banking easy, frictionless and even fun so that people can make better, faster money decisions without the angst,” Mr Wilson said.

“We are very proud that Xinja’s owners include not only local and overseas professional investors but our staff and thousands of cardholders who have invested, as part of our equity crowdfunding, and want to join with us to revolutionise banking,” he said.

Xinja Chair Lindley Edwards said Australians deserve better banking.

“Xinja will bring greater competition to the market, which has been stagnant for too long when it comes to looking after the interests of ordinary Australians. We have built Xinja from the ground up, which means we have listened to people who want to bank with us, and used their feedback to help us build a better bank,” Ms Edwards said.

More than 22,000 people have already signed up for Xinja, which has an app and prepaid card that also serves as a no-fee travel card in use in more than 70 countries.

The card allows anyone travelling overseas or shopping online in a foreign currency to see how much has been spent in both the foreign currency and Australian dollars.

The Xinja app lets people track their daily spend, split costs or bills easily with friends and top up their account instantly. The card can be frozen with a swipe, users can check their balance from outside the app, and easily access customer service via chat.

Xinja charges no card fees or ATM fees either at home or abroad (although local ATM providers may charge a fee) and refunds 100% of currency conversion fees.

Xinja already has an Australian Credit Licence, which allows it to offer home loans. In November, it announced that, with its partner SAP, it has already stood up its core banking system, which was achieved in record time.

“We believe old-style banking is about to face serious challenges,” Ms Edwards said.

“Xinja has been asking ‘what’s the very best we can do?’ We have been looking to other innovators and disruptors around the world to bring the best to our banking.”

Brett King, a global neobank guru, was recently appointed to advise the Xinja Board, with senior Tesla engineer Thomas Vikstrom joining the Board. Both bring high levels of disruption and innovation thinking to their positions.