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New digital ‘banking alternative’ launches

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Reporter 6 minute read

A new digital platform, run in partnership with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, has launched to give Australians a “radically different banking alternative”.

The new digital app, called Up, was created by Melbourne-based technology developer Ferocia and operates under Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s banking licence.

The smartphone banking app was officially launched last week and enables customers to track their money in real time, predict upcoming bill charges automatically and pay them on time, and also offers multiple saver accounts, round-ups on purchases, digital payments (such as Apple Pay and Google Pay) and no international transaction fees.

Up has said that it also works with Mastercard for payment and Google Cloud Platform for hosting, and it intends to be “the first cloud-hosted bank in Australia”.

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Speaking of the new app, Ferocia and Up co-founder Dom Pym said: “There’s been a lot of chatter about new-age banking alternatives arriving on the market. But the team has just been focused on actually getting one live. Up exists to simplify people’s lives and help them to create financial freedom through technology, innovation and creativity.

“We are immensely proud of the enhanced customer experience that will help people spend wisely and save effortlessly.”

Mr Pym added that Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s “strong track record” provides the app with a “credible banking partner, coupled with the creative licence to design Up in the most ‘non-bank’ way possible”.

“It has meant we can offer customers a new way to manage their money ahead of everyone else,” Mr Pym said, noting that the restricted authorised deposit-taking institution licence comes with a two-year testing period.

According to the co-founder, the application will evolve and update in real time, with the team “working at a fierce pace to add new and exciting features at a consistent rate”.

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“We’ve been averaging about five deployments per day, which is unusual for a bank, to say the least, and we’ll continue to do so,” the co-founder said.

Grant Thomas, former St Kilda AFL coach and Up co-founder, added: “In order to deliver a completely different banking experience, we needed to approach this with a completely different cultural play to the industry. And this tech-led team is the perfect nucleus for this new banking community.”

The past 12 months has seen a rise in the number of digital banks coming to the fore, with the first restricted authorised deposit-taking institution licence (RADI) granted to digital bank volt, run by mortgage veteran Steve Weston, in May of this year, and crowdfunded online lender Xinja announcing plans to utilise the broker channel to facilitate its digital home loan approval process.

More recently, it was announced that a new digital bank will enter the mortgage market in the first quarter of 2019 as it looks to challenge the traditional lending landscape.

Wholly owned by payments solution business Cuscal, 86 400 is a new digital player launching into the Australian banking market and will be made available as both an iOS and Android app from launch.

[Related: New digital bank to offer home loans]

New digital ‘banking alternative’ launches
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