Up a low deposit bank

Ian Rogers Fintech

It’s a first birthday party tonight for Australia’s first – and so far hard-charging – neobank brand Up.

An outline of first year milestones for Up Bank may lead to an inference that, as a value generator, Up and its South Melbourne-based inventor Ferocia and principal partner Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have a long road ahead.

There are A$100 million in current deposits one year after launch, Dominic Pym (co-founder of Bendigo’s Up Bank partner Ferocia) told a media briefing yesterday. This is a smidge in comparison with the more than $2 billion uplift in deposits for Bendigo over the last year and the bank’s $30 billion deposit book as of the end of August.

Up has “135,000 plus customers and 250,000 plus accounts opened on 157,000 plus mobiles” Pym said.

Up added 100,000 customers over the last eight months, no doubt helped by the belated inclusion of payments functionality in the app some time in April.

Yes, Up started out as a place to deposit funds and save, with a place-holder in the Payments screen in the app. It’s a neobank thing.

There were $680 million in transactions in the first year.

This low deposit, high transaction mix is a function of Up’s youthful early adopters. The average age is 27, the median age is 24 and the most common age group is 20.

One more payments function arriving in the Up app is international payments.

An alliance between Up and FX fintech superstar TransferWise serves as a reminder that Up and Ferocia – while operating under the umbrella of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank – have an open partnership.

TransferWise will supply the pathway for international payments for users of Up.

There will be no exchange rate markups on international transfers, consistent with recommendations in a recent ACCC assessment of this sector of payments.

A half hour confab earlier this year between principals produced agreement on “commercials and a handshake,” Pym said, Bendigo allowing Ferocia to grow Up Bank their way.

TransferWise via Up will roll-out in a private beta next month, with a full launch to follow shortly.