Airwallex launches Australian-first USD interest-bearing account

US Dollar Airwallex Account

Airwallex, the Melbourne-founded, Singapore-based fintech, has unveiled an “Australian-first” savings account enabling business customers to earn interest on both Australian (AUD) and US Dollar (USD) balances.

The newly launched savings account, dubbed ‘Yield’, enables SME customers to earn interest on their US-dollar balances without the need to open a foreign bank account.

According to Airwallex, customers of Yield will be able to easily move funds between cash balances and their Yield account.

Yield balances are invested through J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with Airwallex promising returns of 3.39 per cent on AUD balances and 4.07 per cent for USD balances. This, the fintech boasts, is significantly above the business savings account offerings of the big banks, that “more than doubles” their returns on AUD funds, “without minimum lock-up periods”.

On launch, Yield will be offered to customers meeting a minimum initial investment threshold. Airwallex said it will push for a broader rollout next year to other markets and customers, alongside additional currencies.

Luke Latham, managing director for Airwallex Australia and New Zealand noted that, at present, businesses which raise money in US Dollars are at a disadvantage with their current account options, with “no option in Australia right now to earn returns on those funds without converting them to AUD”.

He added that Airwallex wanted to help its business customers capitalise on fast-rising interest rates, enabling them to “do more with funds that might be sitting idle in their accounts”.

Latham added that account would enable customers to “escape the status quo that’s limited to banks locking up their funds with no flexibility and offering anaemic returns”.

“The conversations we’ve had with customers have unearthed an overwhelming majority of businesses want greater flexibility and returns from a product like Yield,” Latham said.

“It’s just one more way Airwallex is changing the way businesses do business in Australia.”

Airwallex co-founder and chief executive Jack Zhang said the company will “keep expanding into new areas”, believing that “incumbent banks are letting businesses down”.