How 86 400 is tackling the over-banked

  • By Christine St Anne

The neobank uncovered an opportunity to help Australia’s multi-banked take better control of their money.

With the local market dominated by the big four, 86 400 CEO Robert Bell said that he gets asked all the time why does Australia need another bank.

“The reality is Australia doesn't need a bank if it's going to be exactly the same as all the other banks. So we have set up set out to build a very different bank, Bell said.

Bell was speaking at the online Seamless Asia summit alongside his peer Arvie de Vera fintech group head of Union Bank of Philippines.

The issue of digital banking used to tackle the challenge of the unbanked was explored.

Philippines are a nation of 70 per cent unbanked, according to de Vera.  

This spurred his bank to ‘digitise” otherwise “we would have died”.

The bank “shepherded people into the digital future” with bank ambassadors helping them with how to use digital banking.

“It was a great way to herd people into the digital age,” de Vera said and consequently into a banked population.

But for Bell, Australians tend to be over-banked.

“When we looked deep into the data - being a technology-led company we are constantly looking at data – we saw some really interesting trends about what's happening in Australia,” Bell said.

The data revealed that more than half Australians actually have a relationship with two or more banks and in some cases three or four banks.

In fact RFI Group research finds that the 25 to 37 and even 40-year-old customers are multi-banked.  

A key trend picked up by Bell’s team at 86 400 was  that people were not consciously aware of the automatic debits coming out of their bank account to pay for services such as subscriptions or gym memberships.

The bank also noticed while people were making more transactions by tapping their phone or card that didn’t necessarily give them control of their money.

“They are a bit confused about what's happening. They don’t have a full picture of their finances. We found many people felt stressed about their money regardless of their income.

“So when we designed 86 400, we really set about how do we address that challenge and help Australians take control of their money.”

One of the offerings the bank has is allowing customers to aggregate all their accounts at all the other banks and see those accounts on the 86 400 platform.

“What we have given them is the value of seeing what is happening in their financial world. It's quite different.

“We are helping to simplify the over-banked in Australia.”