This week in banking - 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Awards, new home loan products, Travelex comes back online and say “hey” to Hay

Polly Fleeting

Friday 21 February 2020

  • The 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Bank Accounts and Savings have been announced! Did your bank make the cut? 
  • Refinancers listen up! Here are three new home loan rates you should know about
  • There’s a new fintech in town: say “hey” to Hay. 
  • Only 3,500 spots remain under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme after less than two months 
  • Travelex is back, but it’s not business as usual
  • ME finds there’s a stark rift between regional and metro Aussies in its latest Household Financial Comfort Report

All in this week’s banking recap.  

All in this week’s banking recap.

The 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Bank Accounts & Savings have been announced! 

Yesterday, the first set of Mozo Experts Choice Awards for the decade were announced! Could a fresh start with a new bank account, savings account or term deposit be exactly what you need? 

Choosing a new bank can be tough, but that’s where Mozo’s banking experts come in. The team compared over 700 personal, small business and self-managed super fund products from an array of Aussie providers, and compiled a list of the best of the best.  

Amongst the winners were big players like CommBank, Citi, Macquarie Bank and AMP. But it was newly established neobank Up, who took the crown of Everyday & Savings Bank of the Year for 2020! 

Read full article: Is your bank a winner? Mozo reveals the best term deposits, savings and bank accounts for 2020 to find out how Aussie banks performed under the Mozo microscope. 

Here are 3 new home loans rates refinancers should be getting to know 

This week, mortgage providers loans.com.au, Homestar and HSBC introduced three new home loan rates and they are certainly worth knowing about. 

All three home loan products offer hot variable rates, but both loans.com.au’s and Homestar’s new products require a bigger deposit or equity in your property, making them a good option for refinancers. 

Check out the following rates:

  • Homestar’s Star Gold Home Loan offers a 2.69% variable rate (2.72% comparison rate*) for borrowers with at least a 40% deposit or equity 
  • Loan.com.au’s new Smart Home Loan 75 comes with a low 2.78% variable rate (2.80* comparison rate) to borrowers with at least a 25% deposit or equity
  • HSBC has a new 2.90% variable rate (2.91% comparison rate*) on it’s Discounted Home Value Loan for borrowers with a 20% deposit or equity. 

Read full article: 3 new home loan rates refinancers need to know about to learn more about these new home loan offers. 

Hey hey it’s Hay! The newest fintech to hit Aussie shores comes with a bunch of travel benefits 

Launched on Tuesday, new Aussie fintech Hay aims to provide Aussie consumers with a seamless digital banking experience all in the palm of their hand. 

The Visa card, transaction account and user-friendly mobile app combination allows customers to make instant payments, track monthly spending and manage a travel budget all in one space. 

A notable feature of this fintech is the ability for users to switch to ‘travel mode’, which gives you fee-free Visa foreign exchange rates when you travel and also displays your money in local currency, so you don’t have to worry at all about doing conversions yourself. 

Although the company is not yet officially a “bank”, Hay does have an Australian Finance Service Licence which enabled it to launch financial products. The platform is currently pursuing a Restricted Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) banking licence, which is a step in the right direction to obtaining a full ADI and becoming a bank in the future.  

Read full article: Say hey to Hay! The new Aussie fintech offering a 100% digital transaction account with travel perks for an in-depth guide to this new platform and what CEO and Founder, Andrew Laycock says about the “cutting-edge technology.” 

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is in full swing with 6,500 loans already being processed 

Since the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme started on January 1 this year, over half of applications are currently being processed, data released by the Australian government revealed this week. 

Out of the 10,000 spots available to first home buyers this financial year, 6,500 applications are being processed - leaving only 3,500 spaces remaining. 

Last Thursday, Housing Minister, Michael Sukkar told parliament that applications had been coming from all over the country for the scheme with over 1,100 in New South Wales, 800 in Victoria, over 700 in Queensland, 150 in Western Australia, 150 in South Australia, over 100 in both Tasmania and the ACT being pre-approved. 

Read full article: 6,500 loans being processed under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme so far and find out what the new stats tell us about first time borrowers using the scheme. 

Australia welcomes back Travelex but banking customers can’t use the service just yet 

Been following the Travelex website hacking saga? Well, the travel money giant is back online in Australia but it’s not business as usual just yet. 

After being hacked on New Years Eve, Travelex’s data was held ransom by cyberhackers who threatened to share customer information if they weren’t paid USD$6 million. 

The site went offline for over a month, but has made a comeback - however, online foreign cash orders are still unavailable through partner banks and services that use Travelex. These include some major banks like NAB, CommBank and Westpac, as well as Bank of Queensland, Beyond Bank, Bankwest and Australia Post. 

Read full article: Travelex site is back in Australia, but is it smooth sailing again? to find out what alternatives there are for getting your hands of foreign cash. 

Regional v metro Australia - ME finds the gap is widening in the latest Household Financial Comfort Report 

There’s no doubt that life in regional areas versus metro hubs is pretty different in Australia, and when it comes to financial comfort of households the gap is growing. 

ME’s latest Household Financial Comfort Report revealed that in the second half of 2019, the gap between metro and rural areas financial comfort has bumped up to 13%, which is significantly higher than the historical average of 7%. 

Why the greater difference between areas? The report showed that despite an overall 2% improvement in the financial comfort of Australia as a whole, regional areas saw a dip of 4%, likely due in part to the recent bushfire and drought disasters. 

Read full article: Gap between regional and metro Australia widens, finds ME's latest Household Financial Comfort Report for all the stats. 

*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for the amount and term you entered. 

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