Say hey to Hay! The new Aussie fintech offering a 100% digital transaction account with travel perks

Katherine O'Chee

18 Feb 2020

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Imagine being able to make instant payments, track your monthly spending and manage your travel budget - all in the convenience of a single smartphone app. Well now you can, with Hay, the latest fintech to break into Australia’s digital payments space.

Just launched today, Hay is offering Aussie users a Visa card and a 100% mobile-based everyday transaction account that aims to put control back into the users’ hands, whether they’re making purchases in Australia or overseas. 

The Hay Account is packed with features, including a ‘travel mode’ that switches on when you’re abroad, giving you access to fee-free Visa foreign exchange rates and displaying your money in the local currency, so you won’t have to worry about doing the conversions yourself.  

RELATED ARTICLE: Best travel credit cards in Australia 2020

According to Hay’s CEO and Founder, Andrew Laycock, the fintech is filling a gap in the lifestyle financial products landscape with cloud-native infrastructure that enables it to adapt quickly to users’ ever-changing lives. 

“We’ve built cutting-edge technology but it’s not about being overly clever or the most ‘out there’. It’s about helping people understand what they can do to make the most of what they have in a way that works for them,” he said. 

“Due to the cost of legacy, the traditional financial providers just aren’t able to respond fast enough to change. That’s where we come in, with the ability to constantly evolve and deliver best-in-class infrastructure, compliance, privacy and security,” Hay’s Chief Operating Officer, David Curry added.  

So what is Hay all about, and what are some of its exciting features on offer? Read on for more details, or for even more details check out our Hay review

Is Hay a bank? 

Not just yet. 

That said, Hay does have an Australian Finance Service Licence (AFSL), which has allowed it to launch its first ever financial products - the Hay card and digital transaction account. This licence also means that Hay is registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).  

Right now, the fintech is pursuing a range of other licences, including a Restricted Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) banking licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The Restricted ADI licence is a stepping stone for new providers looking to become an ADI or an actual bank down the track. 

To learn more about these licences, head over to our explainer on neobanks and digital banks licences

How does Hay work? 

When you’re sending money to yourself or your friends, your Hay Account acts just like any regular bank account with a BSB and account number - enter your payee details and the amount you want to transfer. 

To top up money in your Hay Visa card, you can set up a direct bank transfer from your usual provider to your Hay account. 

And the good news is, Hay uses the New Payment Platform (NPP), which means transfers will take place instantly, with real-time notifications sent to your smartphone or wearable device so that you can track your payments.  

RELATED ARTICLE: Banking in a flash: A guide to the New Payments Platform (NPP)

What features come with my Hay Account? 

Hay’s app-based transaction account is designed for everyday use as well as travel, so it comes with features for both purposes: 

- You’ll receive comprehensive insights into your spending. Not only will every transaction you make be automatically categorised, but you’ll also receive a monthly summary of how much you’ve spent, what you’re buying and where.

- Just landed in another country? Your app will automatically switch to ‘travel mode’ and show your balance in the Aussie dollar as well as the local currency. You’ll also receive detailed insights into any transactions you make overseas, helping you to understand and keep track of your travel expenses. 

- And the cherry on top: Hay is largely fee-free! 

Did you just say fee-free? 

That’s right! Your Hay Account will charge you no fees for transactions, purchases and cash withdrawals at most major bank ATMs in Australia. You also won’t have to worry about any sign-up or monthly account keeping fees. And if you’ve lost your Hay card, rest assured that card replacements come at no extra cost to you. 

As for avid travellers, you’ll be pleased to know Hay charges users no international transaction fees in-store or online and no overseas ATM withdrawal fees up to $500 per month. Just bear in mind any withdrawal above that cap will be subject to a 1.5% fee. 

Are there any other caps or limits to watch for? 

With your Hay transaction account and card, there are a few limits you should keep an eye on: 

- At any one time, you can keep a maximum balance of $10,000 in your Hay Account.

- If you’re topping up your account, a $5,000 daily cap applies. 

- You can make bank transfers up to $5,000 per day, and withdraw up to $1,000 per day from the ATM. 

Is Hay secure? 

Yes! Hay comes with security features, including 24/7 real-time fraud monitoring. On top of that, users have the ability to report any suspicious transactions as well as freeze or unfreeze their Visa card instantly via their app. If you need extra security, you can also turn on and off contactless and magnetic stripe payments on your card. 

And should something go wrong, you can access the Hay Help Desk via your app during business hours (8am-6pm, Mon-Fri) and chat with someone from the customer support team. Otherwise, you can send an email to the Hay Help team. 

How can I sign up to Hay? 

As long as you’re an Australian resident aged 16 or over, you’ll be able to open an account with Hay. You can sign up in as little as five minutes by downloading the Hay app available on iOS or Android, and once you've opened your account, your physical Hay Visa card will be on its way. 

Your card should arrive in your mailbox five days later. Just remember to activate the card first before using it - press on the ‘Settings’ tab in the app, then in ‘Physical card frozen’, tap to turn off the red toggle and you’re all good to go! 

Can I open a Hay Account right now? 

Right now, you can sign up and reserve one of 10,000 spots to become a Hay founding member. All you'll need to provide is your full name, phone number and email address. Hay Founders will receive perks for life, including early access to new feature releases and a founding members card. 

Hay Accounts will be open to Founders and the public in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled in the meantime. 

Curious about what other storms are brewing in Australia’s digital banking space? Look below for a list of some of the neobanks available in Australia right now, or check out our neobanks and money apps page for all the latest news and developments in the world of neobanks and money apps. 

Neobanks 2020

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