New app offers bank accounts and short-term loans
Afterpay officially launched its Money app in Australia, granting 3.6 million users access to savings accounts, a debit card and a suite of features designed to tie the giant buy now, pay later with even more daily spending.
Money by Afterpay sees fintech moving beyond four-way payment transactions and into “traditional” banking, thanks to its massive partnership with Westpac.
Through the Money app, Afterpay users can access Westpac-backed savings and spending accounts, as well as a physical debit card linked to the transaction account.
Afterpay says the Money app will offer social media-inspired insights based on account balances and buy now, pay for later use, giving users a “transparent view” of their financial situation.
The company sees the Money app as a way for users, especially Gen Z and Gen Y Australians, to fully capture their savings habits while keeping tabs on their purchase now, paying for future expenses. .
“Afterpay has become synonymous with Buy Now Pay Later and we now hope that Money by Afterpay will become the gold standard for all things money – income, expenses, savings and BNPL,” said co-founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar in a statement.
In this way, Money will challenge the Commonwealth Bank – which aims to transform its own banking app into a holistic financial center, with the help of its own four-way payment challenger. StepPay.
Beyond linking buy now, pay subsequent transactions to bespoke Westpac bank accounts, Money will also launch Retro, the ability for app users to retroactively split transactions up to $ 200 into four separate refunds.
Afterpay bills the feature as a way for users to avoid overdraft fees when reimbursing expenses.
However, reviews like the Consumer Law Action Center compared Retro to other new pay-on-demand services, which Wrap the functionality and risk of payday loans in smooth, easy-to-use applications.
While the Money app is backed by the Westpac infrastructure, Retro will not be subject to the kind of credit restrictions that traditional payday lenders face.
Retro will have no upfront cost to users if refunds are made on time, but Afterpay notes that “late fees and transaction limits may apply”.
By introducing these new offerings, Afterpay is looking to secure its place in Australia’s spending habits for years to come, said Lee Hatton, executive vice president of new platforms.
“This introduction is just the start, as we help our clients build their financial confidence through an ongoing roadmap of new features and useful and inspiring content,” he said.
The money will also serve as a customer acquisition tool in “underweight” demographic groups shifting away from old-fashioned banking products, said Jason Yetton, Westpac general manager for special businesses.
And the bank is already seeing future opportunities with Money, including the prospect of app-based mortgages.
“The next cab will be to reinvent the home buying journey and make it really easy, digital, fast, simple and competitive,” Yetton told ‘Westpac Wire’ Podcast.
Westpac plans to explore this option in 2022, he added.
Money by Afterpay is now available for iOS users, with an Android version expected to go live next year.