Australian digital banking startup Xinja has taken an important step in its efforts to create a full-service mobile alternative to the big four by securing regulatory approval to start offering home loans.
While the UK has seen a rash of digital challenger banks crop up over the last couple of years, Xinja hopes to be the first independent to take on the establishment down under.
The company has taken advantage of the government's new equity crowdfunding law to raise funds, using the Equitise platform to bring in more than $1.4 million of a $3 million target so far.
Eric Wilson, CEO, Xinja, says: "We have been so excited and humbled by the response to the equity crowdfunding offer, which has significantly exceeded our expectations. It is indicative of the appetite for a new banking experience in Australia, and part of our intention has always been that Xinja customers could own a piece of the action."
By the end of February, the startup will roll out its first product, an app and prepaid card, and, with an Australian Credit Licence now in the bag, it plans to start offering home loans in the next few months.
To become a full-service provider, Xinj is also applying for two more licenses - an Australian Financial Services Licence and a banking licence which will allow it to become a Restricted Authorised Deposit-taking Institution.