New app offers bank accounts and short-term loans

The new Money app from Afterpay.
  • Money by Afterpay has officially launched in Australia, bringing new features to users of the giant Buy Now, Pay Later.
  • The app offers Westpac-backed bank accounts and functionality that retroactively turns purchases into BNPL transactions.
  • The platform can open the door to new features, like larger loans and mortgages.
  • Visit the Business Insider Australia homepage for more stories.

Afterpay has officially launched its Money app in Australia, giving 3.6 million users access to giant savings accounts, a debit card and a suite of features designed to link the buy now, pay later with even more daily expenses.

Money by Afterpay sees fintech evolve 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 later, giving users a “transparent view” of their financial situation.

The company pitches the Money app as a way for users, especially Gen Z and millennial Australians, to fully grasp their savings habits while keeping tabs on what they buy now, paying for spending later .

“Afterpay has become synonymous with Buy Now Pay Later and now we hope Money by Afterpay will become the gold standard for all things money – income, spending, savings and BNPL,” said co-founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar. in a press release.

In this way, Money will challenge Commonwealth Bank, which aims to turn its own banking app into a holistic financial hub, with the help of its own four-way payment challenger, StepPay.

In addition to linking buy now, pay later 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, critics like the Consumer Action Law Center compared Retro to other new pay-as-you-go services, which bundle the features and risks of payday loans into simple, easy-to-use apps.

Although the Money app is backed by the Westpac infrastructure, Retro won’t be subject to the kind of credit restrictions faced by traditional payday lenders.

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 beginning as we help our customers build financial confidence through an ongoing roadmap of new features and useful, inspiring content,” he said.

The cash will also serve as a customer acquisition tool in “underweight” demographics turning away from old-school banking products, said Jason Yetton, Westpac’s general manager for special businesses.

And the bank is already considering future opportunities through Money, including the prospect of app-based mortgages.

“The next taxi out of the box will be to reimagine a home buying journey and make it really easy, digital, fast, simple and competitive,” Yetton told the ‘WestpacWire’ 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.

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