Budding Australian neobank Xinja has been granted a restricted banking licence by the country Prudential Regulatory Authority.
Launched by a former NAB executive, the aspirant challenger says 22,000 people have so far signed up for its app and tap-and-go prepaid card.
The restricted licence means Xinja can hold up to $2 million in deposits of less than $250,000 each. Banking authority Apra also imposes strict rules around Xinja’s tier one capital, assets and liabilities, and the assets it holds on its balance sheet.
The company, one a clutch of digital banking startups seeking to usurp Australia's incumbent banks, has so far raised over $17 million in Series A and Series B capital raisings, including $2.7 million from 1,200 retail investors in Australia's first equity crowdfund. It is currently preparing for a second crowdfund in January 2019 in a bid to raise a further $5 million from individual investors, contributing to a target range of between $10-$20 million for its third capital raise.
The Xinja app lets people track their daily spend, split costs or bills with friends and top up their account instantly. The card can be frozen with a swipe, users can check their balance from outside the app, and access customer service via chat.
“We believe old-style banking is about to face serious challenges,” says Xinja chair Lindley Edwards. “Xinja has been asking ‘what’s the very best we can do?’ We have been looking to other innovators and disruptors around the world to bring the best to our banking. We have built Xinja from the ground up, which means we have listened to people who want to bank with us, and used their feedback to help us build a better bank.”