Dollarmites, American Express, used car sales: This week’s best banking news

kids leaving school cancelled dollarmites program
  • ACT second state to bid farewell to Dollarmites in schools
  • New American Express  business loans set to help SMEs 
  • Fear of public transport sees spike in used car sales 
  • Looking for a Green Loan? CommBank’s just dropped one with a low 0.99% rate
  • CommBank Neo: why millennials have flocked to this interest-free credit card 
  • Millennials are jumping on the share trading bandwagon

All in this week’s best banking news recap: editor’s pick. 

Why the ACT is the second Aussie state to ditch Dollarmites in schools 

Heard of CommBank’s Dollarmites? You may even have been one back in the day. 

Well, some Aussie states are snuffing this school banking program. In fact, from July this year the ACT will be the second state to ditch it. 

This came after a ban was passed by the ACT’s Legislative Assembly by a unanimous vote. 

The ban is in response to a report released by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in December last year which exposed that this program was more focused on marketing financial products rather than improving childrens’ saving habits.

Victoria was the first state to introduce a ban on the Dollarmites program in school, which commenced the first term of 2021.  

Read full article:
Ditching Dollarmites: A new way forward in student financial literacy to find out how schools plan to teach kids about money. 

Credit card giant American Express launches business loan product

For the first time outside of the United States, American Express has launched a business loan

The credit card - and now loan - provider decided to make this move in response to the increased number of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to take out over $130 billion of additional capital in 2021. 

American Express has partnered with global organisations platform ODX in order to get the loans going. Currently, loans will range from $5,000 to $250,000 and will have interest rates from 10.95%. 

Read full article:
American Express launches business loan to assist SMEs and see what vice president of Global Services for American Express, Martin Seward, has to say about the new venture. 

Used car sales through the roof as people shun public transport

woman buying used car

Aussie drivers are forking out over 40% more on pre-loved vehicles compared to pre-Covid times, fresh numbers from data firm Datium Insights reveal.  

And there are two common reasons for it: 

  • Fear of public transport 
  • Desire to explore Australia on road trips 

Datium Insights analyst, Tanim Ahmed said he saw a 15% decrease in car sales during the early stages of the pandemic. However, the market has turned around. 

“When trade started to resume again, the stock of new cars [from international manufacturers] was so restricted people were limited in what they could buy and that demand spilled over into used cars. That’s an effect that’s still happening today,” he said.

In addition, mechanics have also seen a spike in the number of pre-purchase inspections and/or roadworthy certificates.  

Read full article:
Used car sales skyrocket as fears of public transport grow for some ways to fund your wheels in 2021. 

Meet CommBank’s new 0.99% Green Loan 

Major bank CommBank is set to launch a new green loan option to customers that adopt renewable and sustainable technology into their homes. 

With a low 0.99% secured fixed rate, the CommBank Green Loan will be made available to existing CommBank home loan customers (owner occupiers and investors). It is designed to fund the installation of small-scale renewable technologies such as solar panels, battery packs and electric vehicle chargers. 

Loan amounts go up to $20,000 and CommBank has said there will be no upfront establishment fee, ongoing monthly service fee or early repayment penalty attached to this product. 

Read full article:
CommBank's new 0.99% Green Loan to help Aussies purchase renewable technology for comments from CommBank group executive Angus Sullivan. 

Aussie millennials take up CommBank’s interest-free credit card

millennial using CommBank Neo credit card

At the end of last year, CommBank launched Neo - an interest-free credit card

According to stats released by the bank, younger Aussies have jumped on board this new form of credit. The numbers show that one third of all credit card approvals in December of 2020 were for the new Neo card. And of those applicants, over half were within the millennial age bracket. 

Essentially, CommBank Neo has no interest rate or late fees - but instead charges customers a monthly fee depending on their credit card limit. ($12 for $1,000 credit limit, $18 for $2,000 credit limit and $22 for $3,000 limit). 

“It’s obvious and right to observe your traditional vanilla credit card offering is seeing some challenges at the moment,” said CBA retail banking executive Angus Sullivan. 

“There has been an innovation around the way you structure (credit) … and I think Neo taps into that. It’s really easy for customers to get their head around it.”

Read full article:
CommBank's interest-free credit card surges in popularity amongst millennials and find out why this age bracket is so keen to adopt credit alternatives. 

More millennials turn to share trading 

It’s no secret that savings rates are pretty dire. So naturally, Aussies are looking for other ways to grow their stash - including millennials. 

As a result, many young savers have turned their focus to the stock market to try their hand at share trading

Research from RMIT’s senior lecturer of finance, Dr Angel Ahong revealed that the amount of retail trading by individual investors increased by over 60% during lockdown compared to pre-COVID. 

In addition, CommSec (CommBank’s share trading platform) recorded that their customers with no trading experience went from 8% before February to 18% in December. And 83% of those customers were made up of people under the age of 44 - in the millennial, Gen X and Gen Z age brackets. 

Read full article:
Share trading surges among millennials, but are they jumping in too quickly? for a deep dive on why share trading is on the rise. 

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