APRA grants Aussie fintech 86 400 a banking licence

Australia's newest bank expects to launch soon.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has granted 86 400 Ltd a licence to operate as an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) under the Banking Act 1959.

As a result of the licence, Australia's newest bank is gearing up for its launch of transaction and savings accounts, with its app to appear on the Apple Store and Google Play "soon".

The green light from APRA means 86 400 is able to take unlimited customer deposits, after meeting the same regulatory requirements as the Big Four banks. ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac currently hold around 95% of the entire market share in Australia.

"For the last two years, we've been busy building a smarter alternative to how Australians bank. Today's news confirms we've passed all of the necessary checks and balances required to call ourselves a bank," 86 400 CEO Robert Bell said.

"This has been an incredibly thorough process and we've had every element of our business stress-tested to confirm that we are as robust, secure, and safe as any bricks-and-mortar bank. The only thing remaining is to bring 86 400 to market, which we're now very close to doing."

86 400 got its name from the number of seconds there are in a day , with the company banking on its focus on data and analytics for its success. It said through the use of its platform, customers will gain a better understanding of their spending and savings habits, with up-to-date insights to help them take control of their money.

Opening an account is expected to take two minutes, with customers able to open an account with real-time payments through Osko.

See also: What is Australia's New Payments Platform?

From launch, 86 400 customers will have access to Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, as well as FitBit Pay, Garmin Pay, and standard Visa debit card functions.

"From early on, we've been incredibly confident that what we're building will offer Australians a smarter alternative to the Big Four banks," chairman of 86 400 Anthony Thomson added.

"Smart tech is everywhere: Smartphones, smart cars, and even smart homes. They exist to make our lives easier and more convenient. But when it comes to managing our finances, these same benefits haven't been available to us until now. Designed for smartphones, our smartbank will help people take control of their money, offering far more than they'd expect from a bank."

86 400 joins two other fintech startups that have been granted a full ADI licence in a little over a year, with Volt and Judo being given APRA approval in May 2018 and April 2019 respectively.

Meanwhile, Xinja holds a restricted banking licence that allows it, with APRA's approval, to offer, within certain conditions and restrictions, banking products to staff, family, friends of staff, and a small number of early adopters who have expressed interest in being involved in Xinja's startup phase.  

Xinja can offer banking products to the general public once it transitions from the RADI licence to a full banking licence, having until 16 December 2020 to do so. 


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