Switching home loans, best online alcohol, Christmas gift card: This week’s best banking news

By Polly Fleeting ·
  • How switching your home loan could save you thousands 
  • Need booze for Christmas? Here are the best places to shop online for alcohol 
  • Beem It introduces ‘gift card’ to its app in time for Christmas 
  • Want to open a shared bank account? Neobank 86 400 has just debuted theirs 
  • Watch for these Buy Now Pay Later traps this holiday spending season 
  • 6 financial positives that came from 2020 

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

Refinancing your mortgage: ACCC says it could save you thousands of dollars

A year and two months after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct an inquiry into home loan pricing, the body has released its final report. 

The findings ultimately showed that Aussie homeowners could save thousands by reviewing their current mortgage rate. 

“A significant number of Australian home loan borrowers have not switched lenders for several years, yet they stand to save so much money by doing so,” said ACCC Chair, Rod Sims.

“There are factors standing in the way of home loan borrowers switching lenders, such as a lack of clear and transparent pricing, as well as inconvenience and time costs, but for many borrowers switching will be worth the effort.”

And even a small change in rate can make a huge difference over the life of a home loan. For example, the difference in interest paid on a $250,000 home loan between a variable rate of 3.00% and 3.30% over 20 years would be a decent $9,082. 

Read full article:
Haven't switched home loans recently? The ACCC says you may be losing out on thousands for a full rundown of where rates sit right now. 

2021 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for best Online Alcohol

With the Christmas period well and truly upon us, you may be wondering, ‘where’s the best place to get alcohol online this holiday season?’

Well, we’ve got you covered with the 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Online Alcohol. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that more people are turning to online shopping to avoid crowds, and purchasing your beer and wine is no exception,” Mozo’s Experts Choices judge, Peter Marshall said.

“In this year’s awards, we compared 31 online alcohol retailers plus six express delivery services to help Australians find the best places to buy their favourite wine and beer, delivered straight to their front door.”

Some notable 2021 winners were: 

  • Dan Murphy’s: Online Alcohol Retailer of the Year 
  • Just Wines: Online Wine Retailer of the Year 
  • Jimmy Brings: Express Online Alcohol Retailer of the Year  

Read full article: Winners announced in the 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Online Alcohol for a closer look at the top retailers. 

Beem It introduces gift card ready for Aussie Christmas shoppers

Heard of the payment app, Beem It? Well, whether you have or you haven’t the platform has just dropped a brand new personalised gift card feature. 

Beem It customers can now purchase and send personalised gift cards to friends and family via the app. Plus, recipients don’t need to be a Beem It user to spend the gift card! 

“We wanted to challenge the view that a digital gift card is the less personal option as we believe the gift of choice is actually quite a thoughtful one,” said head of operations at Beem It, Jason Backhouse. 

“To do so, we’ve built the feature with the gifting experience at its core, from allowing users to select from a range of animations reflective of their personal taste. With the digital unwrapping and interactive scratch to reveal functionality, we wanted the gifting experience to feel unique and memorable.”

Read full article:
Beem It adds 'gift card' to app, ready for Christmas shoppers for more on this handy new feature. 

In need of a shared account? Check out 86 400’s brand new product 

This week, neobank 86 400 introduced a new shared account for customers. 

The account allows Aussies to manage their finances in a joint 86 400 Pay Account or Save Account.  

“Shared finances are one of the trickiest parts of taking control of your money, but we’re making it quicker, easier and a lot less painful,” said chief product and marketing officer, Travis Tyler.

“Typically to open a shared account, you either need to travel to your branch multiple times or to the post office, provide duplicates of the already-provided identification and spend more time than you want to speak to your bank. We’ve completely changed the process and enabled customers to do it from wherever they are, within 30 seconds.”

The account can be used immediately and via the 86 400 app. Plus, account holders can also set up and pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. 

Read full article:
Neobank 86 400 debuts shared accounts for the full play-by-play on how these new accounts work. 

Buy Now Pay Later for Christmas: what not to do

There’s no doubt that many Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) users will be relying on these platforms to spread the cost of Christmas. And that is a savvy thing to do, as long as you don’t fall into any traps. 

In recent Mozo research on BNPL, our team found that late fees on these platforms can range from $3 to $10 per repayment. Plus, there are also extra penalties for late payments that exceed 7 days (which skyrocket to $19.95 per repayment). 

“It’s important to keep track of your spending and make sure you can afford your purchases. It can be easy to make multiple purchases on the platforms, leaving you with a calendar full of small repayments that can all add up,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont. 

“For example, if you used Buy Now Pay Later to buy $800 worth of Christmas presents in December with your last purchase on Christmas Eve, you could be paying off your presents until 4th February 2021.” 

Read full article:
Aussies warned to watch out for Buy Now Pay Later traps this Christmas to see how BNPL is growing in popularity heading into 2021. 

Check out these 6 financial positives to come out of the whirlwind that was 2020 

Does the entirety of 2020 feel sort of like a blur? You’re not alone in feeling that. 

But rather than end the year on feeling low, let’s look back on 6 financially positive things that came out in 2020: 

  • Home loan rates below 2%
  • Open Banking kicked off 
  • Wholesale energy prices were the lowest in five years 
  • Aussies improved their money habits 
  • Westpac launched a 3% savings rate for young Aussies 
  • NAB and CommBank introduced new 0% interest credit cards. 

Read full article: 6 financially positive things that came out in 2020 for an in-depth look at these 2020 triumphs. 

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