Visa's Fintech Fast Track Program is helping build Australia's next neobank

  • By Kate Weber

Australia could be home to a new bank by the end of 2021, which promises to provide consumers with end-to-end distribution of banking products and services after it secured a place in Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program.

Co-founder and CEO of Daytek Capital, Will Banks plans to build Australia's first "product-disruptive bank” called Infinity, with the Visa program as the first stage of its development.

“We feel that at the moment the banking sector is still not offering the right services and products to retail customers and SME customers. 

“Even though banks and the industry were trying to improve post the the royal commission, we feel that that it is still quite a long way to achieve that.”

Banks added the many neobanks that have joined the sector in recent years are still missing key elements to truly compete with the incumbents whilst providing the best customer solutions.

Based in Queensland, Infinity will be the only digital bank in Australia to address retail, SME and premier products, said Banks.

Already, Infinity has secured accumulated discounts, incentives and marketing investment to date of more than $30 million. 

"We are launching a series of products which will disrupt the current status quo in terms of products or services.” 

“A lot of the neobanks have the opinion and the approach that technology really defines the bank and that's what banking is about.

“Whereas we feel that technology underpins the bank, but actually, it's the products that people want.

“So, we are launching a series of products which will disrupt the current status quo in terms of products or services.” 

One of these products is the release of a prepaid card, “but with very sophisticated artificial intelligence” as part of stage one under the Visa program. 

“We will also be doing initiatives  around open banking including data-scraping and offering cross-selling services."

Banks added the company is 80 per cent through the Restricted Banking Licence application, with planned expansion underway. 

Unaffected by the APRA decision to delay ADI licenses due to COVID-19, Banks is confident the formation of the neobank will carry on as planned. 

“The fact that we're taking it in stages in terms of which products we are going to launch, which licences we need, and the jurisdictions we can expand to.

“So it has not been an issue for us."

Originally hailing from the UK, Banks said it was the Office of Home Affairs that gave him the “tap on the shoulder” to pursue the neobanks plans. 

“They're looking to attract people with a internationally recognised reputation and entrepreneurs because the Australian government is looking to invest further in the economy and they're trying to attract people to Australia who are able to support that.

“They're looking for people who are going to come over and create jobs and create businesses that are going to promote Australia.”