Volt Bank in market testing

  • By Christine St Anne

The neobank will be adopting a considered approach to launching its products as it begins market testing the rollout of its Volt Spend account.

The bank has moved from staff testing the product to its first small sub-segment of customers who already have a Volt savings account.

“We will continue to add features over the next 12 months,” said Volt Bank CEO Steve Weston.

These features will include budgeting apps and roundups that will also take advantage of Australia’s open banking framework.

“These features will be rolled out progressively to the public at a time when we are also ready to begining lending soon,” Weston said.

Weston acknowledges that the health pandemic has meant that the neobank had to shelve a number of plans including a capital raise. According to media reports, the bank has tapped the market albeit at a discount, a challenge confronting all new businesses. 

However, the bank still remains focused on its business, including launching lending products, but it will do soalbeit in an extremely measured way.

“We did make the decision to delay commencing lending,” Weston said, adding that the strategy was underpinned by the health pandemic rather than lack of capital.

“As a bank starting with a clean balance sheet, it is going to be a golden asset for us over the next couple of years.”

At a time when all existing lenders are focused on dealing with hardship, foreclosures and bad debts, there is an opportunity for Volt to be selective in the types of lending products it will be able to offer.  and Iimportantly, it will also be highly selective with the customer risk it will take on board.

Weston is also optimistic about the partnership business that is underpinned by a technology platform.

“The platform enables our partners to have their customers open both bank accounts natively but through the partners’ app. That is a first in Australian banking.” 

The bank has already announced a number of got its partners, including the likes of PayPal and Cotton On group.

About a dozen similarlike businesses have secured a formal agreement. There is also flexibility for partners to have a white label solution.

Thise platform is what distinguishes Volt from other banks and Weston said it is “the future of banking”. 

The platform will allowbe able to provide consumerspeople with the ability to look at all their accounts including banking, retail and utility accounts in a single view, while providing them with real time alerts.

“Our plans are on track and we are ready to open the doors to the public - but only when we are comfortable to begin lending.

“With a little bit of patience we will be rewarded in the future.”