SMH: Volt Bank first fintech to get Australian banking license

Start-up Volt Bank has been given the green light to start accepting deposits from the public at large after it became the first digital challenger bank to be granted a fully-fledged banking license.

As policymakers seek to put more competitive heat on the biggest banks, Volt became the first among a group of “neobanks” to be given an “unrestricted” deposit-taking institution license by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Until now, Volt, like other “neo-banks,” had been limited by the fact it only held a “restricted” license. This meant it could accept no more than $250,000 in a single deposit, and a maximum of $2 million in total deposits, and effectively ensured the bank was in test mode.

APRA’s granting of a full license is a critical milestone, because it will allow the branchless Volt to push ahead with plans to roll out savings and transactions accounts, term deposits, personal loans, and home loans this year.

Other start-up banks that are seeking an unrestricted banking license from APRA soon include Xinja, and Cuscal-backed 86 400, which is seeking to bring on new investors this year.

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