Xinja appoints new CTO


Digital-only neobank Xinja has announced the appointment of John Pountain as its first chief technology officer.

A financial services industry veteran, having previously served as Architecture Manager at Macquarie and most recently as Asia Pacific CTO for financial tech developer Excelian, Poutain assumed his new role at Xinja in late July.

Building on top of Xinja’s existing SAP core banking platform and AWS cloud, Poutain appears confident of the neobank’s potential to bolt on an array of “hyper-personalised” customer service offerings.

“Our technology will allow us to scale into these solutions, and most importantly into building out our data and AI capabilities to deliver hyper-personalised services for customers,” Poutain said in a statement.

“It’s time customers’ data was used to benefit them rather than the institutions they bank with; we are very excited about the CDR (Consumer Data Right) and open banking and what it can deliver for people.”

Launched in 2017 and receiving its Australian Credit Licence a year later, Eric Wilson, chief executive of Xinja, said the neobank has a critical advantage of a clean infrastructure slate, avoiding the messy build-up of decades-old core systems that have hampered the big banks.

“We’re not encumbered by legacy systems, which means we are much nimbler than traditional banks, and can use the best technology has to offer for our customers at much lower costs,” Wilson said.

“We are very ambitious about changing the banking landscape, not just carrying on hundreds of years of banking tradition that makes bankers a lot of money but often fails to serve the best interests of customers.”

This will be Pountain’s second stint at a neobank, having previously served as Global Digital Solution Architect for New York-based Moven.

Xinja, which was granted a restricted authorised deposit-taking banking licence (RADI) in December 2018, is in the process of acquiring a full licence, allowing it to provide bank accounts to its customers.

So far, the Sydney-based neobank has distributed prepaid cards to more than 12,000 customers, with upwards of 25,000 having already signed up to its service.