The rise of challenger banks in Australia

Reported by: |Updated: January 4, 2019

Views of Steve Weston, CEO, Volt Bank

Trust: There is a trust issue going on in Australia. New banks can provide a lot of data and analytics to offer customers a better deal. We consider ourselves a data company more than a bank. Through Volt Bank, you can access information about your accounts in other banks. We are doing this through screen scraping. Banks in Australia are giving cheaper rates for home loans to new customers, compared to older customers. The challenger banks will expose this. One question that is not discussed is how many customers are using open banking. One reason is that big banks are cautioning customers against data loss.

Regulation: There has been absolutely no relaxation in the licensing criteria for getting a banking license in Australia. To get a restricted banking license also takes a lot of work. You can’t be a technologist can go to the Australia regulator and say you can change the world – you will be out in 5 minutes. Australia needs a small number of new banks to bring credibility.

Partnerships: We will progressively announce new partnerships. Starting with PayPal, which itself has relationships with the 3 of the big 4 banks in Australia.

Tech Partnership: The big technology companies spend a lot of time with the big banks.

Mobile: Smartphone is giving small banks the same distribution reach as the big banks, not from the product perspective but from the customer journey perspective.

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