86 400 has been granted a full authorised deposit-taking Institution licence by APRA, which means it is able to take unlimited customer deposits, having met the same regulatory requirements as the big four banks.
For the bank, the licence “is a significant milestone on the path to public launch”, with 86 400’s CEO Robert Bell commenting that the granting of the licence “confirms we’ve passed all of the necessary checks and balances required to call ourselves a bank”.
“This has been an incredibly thorough process, and we’ve had every element of our business stress-tested to confirm that we are as robust, secure and safe as any bricks-and-mortar bank,” he said.
“The only thing remaining is to bring 86 400 to market, which we’re now very close to doing.”
The CEO outlined that the first product to market will be a fully functional transaction account that comes with a Visa debit card.
Customers will have the option to pay “however they like”, with access offered to all digital payment methods from launch, including Apple Pay, Google Pay™, Samsung Pay, as well as FitBit Pay and Garmin Pay.
This will be closely followed by mortgages, home loans and investment loans.
A move towards mobile banking underpins 86 400’s entrance into the market, according to the bank’s chair Anthony Thomson.
“Here in Australia, most people do their banking on mobile phones, so the future is mobile banking,” he explained.
For him, the big difference is “that if you look at existing banks, they started out as branch-based banks then they tried to modify that to deliver desktop internet banking and then mobile banking”.
What 86 400 has done “from the get go is build a bank for your smartphone”.
“And that’s why we talk about this being the first smart bank. What we [have] tried to do is build a smart bank for the smartphone, the smart cars, [and] the smart lives that people lead today,” Mr Thomson said.
Mr Bell emphasised that no one from the company is interested in building a small niche bank.
His vision is to create “a smarter alternative to the big four banks”.
Grace Ormsby is a journalist for Momentum Media's Nest Egg.
Before moving into the finance realm, Grace worked on Nest Egg's sister site Lawyers Weekly, and was previously a staff reporter at the NSW Business Chamber.
She holds a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism), a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Diploma of Legal Practice from the University of Newcastle.