But, in case you’ve been living under a rock and still don’t know the difference between a ‘neobank’ and a ‘neopet’, then we’re here to fill you in and answer some of your budding neobank questions!
What’s a neobank?
To put it simply, a neobank is a 100% digital bank that operates entirely online. Unlike traditional banks, neobanks generally don’t offer a physical branch and instead provide customer access digitally via mobile banking apps.
We went from hailing down taxis on the side of the road to ordering Ubers right from our phones. We stopped catching movies at the cinemas to Netflix and chill in the comfort of our homes. So it was really only a matter of time before we found a way to digitalise our banking too.
...not to mention, Neobanks have really changed the game in terms of their feature offerings and killer rates! In fact, our Neobank Report 2020: Digital banking in a new decade shows that the top four ongoing savings account interest rates in the Mozo database are offered by neobanks.
Standout neobank features:
Being that they operate totally online, neobanks are great for their ease of access. This typically also makes opening an account with one a pretty quick process. Not to mention, skipping the overhead costs of having a physical branch generally equates to better rates and better value products overall.
Security comes first:
Neobanks are regulated just like any other bank and either have their own Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence issued by ASIC or are partnered with a bank that has one and therefore come under that bank’s AFS licence.
Having an ADI licence means that the Australian Government guarantees funds deposited with that bank up to $250,000 per person, per ADI. So if the bank you keep your savings with goes bust, the government will protect up to $250,000 of your funds.
King of the banking apps:
Nowadays with everything shifting online, a good banking app experience could be the tipping point for many when choosing a bank account.
And seeing as mobile apps are essentially like a virtual shopfront for neobanks, they tend to come with unique features which might appeal to app-lovers, like money insights to help you track your spending and other cool features.
Funky bank cards:
Neobanks are known for having sleek, unique and just downright funky bank card designs. In fact, one could even say that they’re actually winning people over with these colourfully eye-catching bank cards. At the very least they’ve got that millennial tick of approval.
Xinja vs. Up: A side-by-side neobank comparison
With the current rise of neobanks, it feels like there’s a new one popping up each day. So, now that you know what all the fuss is about, let’s take a look at two big-name neobanks Xinja and Up to see what they have to offer:
• Account signup: Download the Up mobile app via the App Store or Google Play Store and follow the instructions to open an Up account via the app. Keep in mind that you’ll need to show an Australian Driver's License, Passport, or Medicare card to validate your ID when opening an Australian bank account.
• Payment options: Up Debit Mastercard, PayID, Osko, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay, Fitbit Pay, BPAY
• Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI) Licence: As a subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Up Bank are covered by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s ADI licence
• Money insights: Regular spending notifications, merchant ID & merchant-specific spending to show you how much you’ve spent in a specific store over time, timestamps & location stamps on transactions (not just dates). Plus, the app automatically categorises your spending, recognises regular bills and subscriptions, and predicts upcoming charges.
• App security: The Up app uses the latest security technology, including smartphone biometrics (fingerprint scan) and advanced cryptography
• Live chat for customer support
Xinja and Up bank are two of the hottest neobanks around at the moment, but if you want to see what else is out there, then be sure to run a quick neobank comparison so you can find the right option for you! Or, hit up our neobank news section to find out what’s going on in the world of neobanks.