Hiver, a new digital bank to be launched under Teachers Mutual, is exploring a deal with an unnamed aggregator in the lead-up to rolling out its home loans, with brokers highlighted as key.
Hiver will debut on Thursday (24 June) with its app launch, targeting younger essential workers across the education, emergency and healthcare sectors.
Steve James, chief executive of Teachers Mutual Bank Ltd, has claimed that Hiver is the first digital mutual bank to hit the market, combining new banking technology with the financial security of its parent group’s $9-billion balance sheet.
Customers will be able to access the Hiver Saver Account, which has direct debits and BPAY capabilities enabled, skipping the need for a separate transaction account.
Hiver is also pushing a 1 per cent cashback scheme on essential purchases such as groceries and public transport for a limited amount of time.
Further, the bank has hinted at upcoming home loan products, with a launch into the broker market tipped for the end of August.
Carolyn Murphy, former general manager of Teachers Mutual’s Health Professionals Bank, is heading up Hiver, in her new role as chief digital bank officer.
Ms Murphy revealed to The Adviser that Hiver is currently courting an aggregator for an exclusive arrangement. The aggregator is yet to be named as the deal hasn’t been locked in.
“We will be having a different product offering to what we currently have with industry banks,” Ms Murphy told The Adviser.
“Our focus will be on that whole digital process, also with the broker, and making sure it’s a great experience for them and for their customers, and that we can do a fast turnaround for them.”
Hiver is looking to implement paperless processes, promising a simpler experience for brokers and customers.
The broker channel is “very important” to the bank’s strategy, Ms Murphy added.
“We’ve had great growth across the industry banks through the broker channel. And we hope to do that over time with Hiver as well,” she said.
If all goes well, Hiver may look to expand at some point to more than one aggregator, she noted.
Hiver has joined the industry banks under Teachers Mutual’s belt, including Firefighters Mutual Bank, Health Professionals Bank and UniBank.
In a sense, the digital bank is also a way for Teachers Mutual to explore technologies and perfect its use, before it introduces changes to its other brands.
“It just gives us an opportunity to implement a new strategy without impacting those traditional industry banks, but we will definitely be looking over time to innovate [and introduce] the technology that we bring into Hiver through the industry banks as well,” Ms Murphy said.
“It gives us the ability to do that without disrupting the great brands that we already have.”
Hiver has also marketed all of its mortgage and deposit products as certified by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia.
The Hiver launch is coming after Teachers Mutual unveiled a revamped and streamlined home loan portfolio last week.
The group slimmed its offerings down to three new products from its previous six.
Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser.
Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth management for InvestorDaily and ifa.
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