Australian fintech Hay has officially launched to the market, with plans to tap into the burgeoning neobanking space.
The fintech, which recently received an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), is currently pursuing a restricted ADI licence, ahead of a rollout of a digital transaction account through its smartphone app.
According to Hay, its transaction account would contain “enriched payment information”, detailed monthly insights into spending habits, travel budgeting features and fee-free foreign exchange rates via its Hay Visa card.
The Sydney-based fintech – which also has offices in London and Belfast – said it would not charge fees for transactions, purchases and cash withdrawals at ATMs across Australia, with no setup or monthly account-keeping fees.
The fintech has officially opened its waitlist, with the first 10,000 customers to sign up and open an account becoming “Hay Founders” — rewarded with unique benefits for the life of the account, which includes early access to all feature releases and a limited-edition founding members card.
Following the announcement, Hay CEO Andrew Laycock said the fintech was looking to capitalise on the growing appetite for new digital banking services.
“It is such an exciting time for fintechs in Australia; we are experiencing a revolution in banking services across the globe, and it is now Australia’s turn,” he said.
According to Mr Laycock, Hay has spent the past 18 months building its cloud-native infrastructure to deliver “convenient and flexible solutions” for customers.
However, the chief executive added that Hay is not looking to be “overly clever” but is instead focusing on helping customers make better informed financial decisions.
“We’ve been testing for several months now, and when we open our digital account to our founders and the public in the coming weeks, we are confident that our users will love Hay from day one,” he continued.
“But we consider ourselves always in a constant state of evolution, and the digital nature of Hay means we are able to continue to add new features rapidly, [so] as they say, watch this space.”
Hay chief operating officer David Curry added that Hay’s global presence has provided the fintech with insights into the success and failures of digital banking.
“Many have directly participated in the UK neobank revolution, so we’ve seen first-hand what has and hasn’t worked and built Hay from there,” he said.
“Due to the cost of legacy, the traditional financial providers just aren’t able to respond fast enough to change. That’s where we come in, with the ability to constantly evolve and deliver best-in-class infrastructure, compliance, privacy and security.”
No immediate plans for home lending
Speaking to Mortgage Business, Mr Laycock said Hay has no immediate plans to enter the mortgage market.
“Home lending is not on Hay’s immediate horizon,” he said.
“Our focus is on improving everyday payments experience and making money management simpler.
“We’re focusing on lifestyle features like instant payments, budgeting and insights.”
However, the Hay CEO said the fintech would look to capture a share of the personal lending space.
“Personal lending space is the obvious progression when we look at our user’s needs,” he said. “Providing competitive lending for our customers overlooked by traditional banks; making it fast, simple, 100 per cent mobile and affordable.”
Charbel Kadib is the news editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2017, Charbel completed internships with public relations agency Fifty Acres, and the Department of Communications and the Arts.