Xinja granted Australian Credit Licence, readies for first product launch
Xinja has moved a step closer to becoming Australia’s first fully accredited and independent ‘neobank’ following the granting of an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) by corporate regulator ASIC.
Having qualified for the ACL, Xinja is now permitted to offer home loans to customers, "which it plans to do in the next few months”, the company said.
According to Xinja chief executive Eric Wilson, home loans "are a key part" of the start-up's business plan and the ACL "will allow us to launch those on schedule."
The granting of the ACL also coincides with the launch of Xinja’s first products to market – the Xinja app and a prepaid card, both of which are expected to be distributed by early March.
The ACL is the first of three licences sought by Xinja in its march towards full regulatory accreditation as a banking service provider.
The company has also applied for an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) from ASIC and, in 2017, applied to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) for a banking licence, which will allow it to become a Restricted Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (RADI).
Earlier in the year, Xinja launched Australia’s first equity crowdfunding offer, via the Equitise platform. According to the company, this initial funding drive raised more than $500,000 in the first 24 hours and more than $1 million in a week. Crowdsourced funding for the start-up now sits at over $1.4 million, with a total investment target of $10 million (half of which has already been raised through private investors) by the end of March.
Xinja, touted as Australia's first independent ‘neobank’ or digital-only institution, eschews traditional brick and mortar operations, offering its services entirely through its mobile platform.
While Australia is home to a number of digital-only banks, to date all remain subsidiaries of established financial services institutions.