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Afterpay to roll out banking app

The BNPL service provider is going to enter the banking space with the launch of savings accounts and its Money app in October 2021.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) service provider Afterpay Australia has announced that it will launch a new money and lifestyle app called Money by Afterpay.

The money app has marked the debut of Afterpay’s collaboration with Westpac 10 months after it was announced.

Afterpay is preparing for a full Australian customer launch of its app in October 2021.

The Money app will include a savings offer to customers, who can earn an interest rate of 1 per cent on up to 15 different savings accounts. The interest rate can be earned on up to $1 million in each of the 15 savings accounts.

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According to Afterpay, the benefit of having multiple savings accounts is to allow customers to open separate accounts for different savings goals, and to make different purchases based on their specific needs (including a home deposit).

To receive the interest rate, customers must have their money in any one of their savings accounts.

There are no specific requirements such as ensuring that a customer’s savings balance is higher at the end of the month than at the beginning.

The Money app offers one daily account with a physical debit card, digital wallet offerings, and the ability to make and receive real-time payments via the New Payments platform.

Furthermore, it has been proposed that the daily account will not charge customers fees, and is therefore suitable for customers to use as their primary account to directly deposit their salaries and view their financial position in one place.

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In October last year, Westpac appointed Afterpay as the first partner on its new digital banking as a service (BaaS) platform, which provided Afterpay customers with access to the major bank’s transaction and savings accounts, and cash management tools.

In addition to Westpac acting as the regulated deposit account and card issuer, Afterpay has obtained an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to enable it to provide general financial product advice and distribute basic deposit products and debit cards.

Timeline of public launch

The app’s phased rollout will begin with a staff pilot at the end of July 2021, and a series of feature drops will follow in the weeks leading up to the public launch.

Feedback and insights from this closed group will be used to refine the content and feature set offered publicly in the second quarter.

Once it is publicly available, customers must have an existing Afterpay buy now, pay later (BNPL) account to begin using the app, and will use their Afterpay credentials to log into the app. Customers can then make it their primary money management app.

The Money app’s home carousel will display their BNPL balance, upcoming orders and instalments alongside their daily spending account and savings accounts.

Younger cohort don’t trust their money behaviours, research finds

According to Afterpay, the Money app’s design was guided by more than 1,400 hours of research with customers across key markets globally, including detailed money diary studies that logged more than 10,000 data points, including transactional data, comments, records and pictures.

The research found that a large portion of Gen Z and Millennial customers do not trust their own money behaviours, and as such, lack confidence in using or committing to other apps on the market.

Customers said that control over savings was the key to a more secure financial future for themselves, but current market offerings around savings felt “unnecessarily complex and inaccessible” or not suited to their needs, according to Afterpay.

Commenting on the Money App, Afterpay co-CEOs Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar said: “Money will broaden our relationship with our loyal customers and also attract a new group that’s looking to streamline how they manage their finances within the debit economy, further cementing our commitment to supporting responsible spending.

“To bring the money app to life in 10 months demonstrates that we can quickly move at pace to get well ahead of customer expectations and bring both cutting-edge features and true ‘surprise and delight’ to the experience.”

Afterpay executive vice president, new platforms, Lee Hatton said: “We’ve built upon the trust and love of the Afterpay brand to bring Gen Z and Millennials a money and lifestyle app that’s truly built for them.

“Combining money management with the BNPL offering will allow us to help customers spend, save and play just by using Money as their primary app.”

[Related: CBA CEO calls for more BNPL regulation]

Afterpay to roll out banking app
Afterpay to roll out banking app
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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