As one of the pioneering players in the world of Australian neobanks, Volt Bank is part of the technology-led banking revolution that offers greater insights, more customisation and the latest payment innovations to Aussie customers - all within a single smartphone app.
Established in October 2017 and based in Sydney, Volt Bank has advanced quickly despite its brief existence. In May 2018, it became the first Australian neobank to be granted a Restricted Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (RADI) licence from APRA (the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority). And even more recently (in January 2019), it became the first neobank to be granted a full licence to operate as an ADI.
That means that when it comes to regulation and products, Volt Bank is just like any other Australian bank. It can take deposits from customers by way of bank accounts and savings accounts and even provide borrowing options like personal loans and home loans down the track.
Speaking of which, the exciting news is that Volt's savings account is now very much available to the public, but more on that below.
After releasing the first details on its Savings Account In December 2019, Volt has apparently on boarded the 40,000 early adopters on its waiting list and more. This is the first product to be released by the neobank, but don't be surprised to see a Volt Bank transaction account hit the Volt app before too long as well, accompanied by a Volt debit card.
Volt Bank Savings Account
|Interest rate||1.25% (up to $245,000)|
|Maximum interest rate||1.25% (up to $245,000)|
With a 'no strings attached' ongoing interest rate of 1.25% and zero monthly fees, the Volt Savings Account is likely to grab the attention of savers looking for a rewarding, stress-free option to keep their cash in. For all the details, check out our full Volt Bank Savings Account review.
It’s also worth noting that because Volt Bank has its very own ADI, the Savings Account and any deposit accounts it does open in the future (like a transaction account or even a mortgage offset account) will be regulated just like any other Australian bank. That means that Aussies thinking about using Volt Bank to store their money in will be safe in the knowledge that deposits (up to $250,000 per person) are protected by the Government's Financial Claims Scheme (FCS).
So, what kind of features is Volt Bank currently offering and likely to offer in the future? Despite having only just launched their savings account, Volt are already off to an impressive start with a great looking app containing a few unique features. Plus if Volt Labs was anything to go by, there are a few features we might just see Volt include later down the track.
One of the first features Volt Bank has released on its app is the Volt Savings Challenge feature. Aimed at helping users create an ongoing savings habit, users are able to set up a savings target (e.g. $100 a week) in the app and then receive regular push notifications from Volt to remind them to add money to the account. The challenge is visually represented in the app by way of six 'savings circles' - one for each week, fortnight or month of the challenge - which are either fully or partially filled in depending on whether they're completed or not. According to Volt, six is the magic number when it comes to forming a positive habit.
One of the subjects Volt questioned its users on in the Volt Labs app was payments: namely a) how they go about paying for things now and b) how’d they like to pay in the future. There was also a real focus on whether users like to pay using cash or digital options, including whether or not they use virtual payment options or digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
While that doesn’t necessarily mean that Volt Bank will include mobile payment options like Apple, Google and Samsung Pay, when it does launch a bank or transaction account, we’d be surprised if they didn’t. After all, as an app-only bank it makes a lot of sense for Volt Bank to offer its users the ability to make over the counter payments with their smartphones! Plus many of Australia’s other neobanks, including 86 400, Up and Xinja have digital wallet capability.
The other major rollout we expect in the Volt app once spending becomes a possibility is more comprehensive money management and categorisation features than are typically offered by traditional banks. We can guess this because the Volt Labs app asked users specific questions about how they categorise their money, and whether or not they use software (outside of a regular banking app) to help analyse and manage their spending.
Plus we’ve already seen other neobanks introduce a suite of money management features in their apps, so it wouldn't be a surprise if Volt Bank did the same.
These could include:
Volt Bank is a neobank, so like other digital banks it will have pros and cons depending on the kind of banking experience you’re looking for.
For starters, Volt will appeal to Australians who are happy to shift away from a conventional banking model to one in which they’re only able to access their accounts on their smartphones. This means Volt doesn't have physical branches, nor does it have traditional phone banking - two options which may still appeal to many Australians.
Volt Bank is also almost certainly going to add a range of new age payment, money management and even more savings features to its app in the future - features which might strongly appeal to Aussies looking for greater control, insights and personalised information from their bank.
However, Volt is clearly taking the time to nail its product rollout. While you can now sign up for the Volt Savings Account, if you’re the kind of person who likes to be able to manage their bank account, credit card, home loan and any other financial products through the same bank then Volt may not be the bank for you, at least, not just yet.
If you sign up to the Volt Bank early adopters waiting list, you’ll be able to open a Volt Savings Account and Volt App in no time. Simply head over to their website and input your name and email address, then Volt will send you an email with a link to their app in either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store (depending on your phone).
Once you've downloaded the app you'll be able to sign up to an account, but you may need to supply a few personal details including identification (e.g. your passport, drivers licence, medicare card etc.) as well as your tax file number.