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Hay: New fee-free travel card and app to launch in Australia


Image of the Hay app on someone's phone

The new Hay Account is designed for travelling and will compete with the likes of Revolut, TransferWise and the digital neobanks.

Hay is the latest fintech to launch a digital banking product in Australia, today announcing the waitlist is open for its prepaid card and app. However, the Hay waitlist is a little bit different to those launched by other neobanks. The first 10,000 Australians to download the new Hay app and join the waitlist will be founders for life, and will enjoy an exclusive limited-edition founder's card and other ongoing account perks.

Hay's first product will be a prepaid card that can be used as an everyday spending card here in Australia and made with features and benefits for travelling. The Hay card will charge no international transaction fees and will allow customers to withdraw up to $500 a month from overseas ATMs without being charged a fee. Once you've already withdrawn $500 from international ATMs in the month, you'll be charged a 1.5% fee for each additional withdrawal that month. You'll also pay no account keeping fees and no ATM fees in Australia.

Like the card, the app is also designed with travel in mind. Similar to fellow neobanks Xinja, Up and 86 400, the Hay app will automatically group your transactions into different categories. For example, your transaction at a restaurant might go into an "eating out" category, while your movie tickets might go into an "entertainment" category. This makes it easy to see where your money is going.

However, something that's unique with the new Hay app is that it'll automatically switch your account balance and transactions into the local currency you're using when you're overseas. Seeing your balance in the currency you're spending in makes it easier to stick to your travel budget, and get a more accurate understanding of your spending when you're not using AUD.

In terms of competitors, the product is most similar to the Revolut Account as well as the TransferWise Borderless Account. Both these products are designed for easy, cheap international spending with competitive exchange rates and no international transaction fees.

Hay has applied for its restricted banking licence (restricted ADI licence) with the regulator APRA, and hopes to be granted this soon. But in the meantime, the Hay card will remain a prepaid Visa card as Hay is unable to accept and hold customer deposits without a licence. This is the same process that neobanks Xinja and Volt went through. Both these brands have since been granted their full banking licences.

If you think Hay sounds like the right travel money product for you, or if you're keen to be one of the 10,000 founders, you can download the Hay app now for free from the App Store or Google Play and join the waitlist. Hay will invite customers on the list to open their Hay Account in the coming weeks.

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